Eli’s Nombre

Are you going to breastfeed? Which diapers do you like best? Will he be circumcised? Will he be getting a little brother or sister?

While my body experienced the first shifts of creating new life, I was bombarded with intimate questions about a little person I’d yet to meet.

The most intimate question: What will you name him? Although Kyle wasn’t as concerned with keeping it a secret, I was cautious about vocalizing our brainstormed list of the names we held close to our hearts.

I see you –
stumbling over the accented i carelessly
because mijo’s identity is a roadblock to your comfort

During the time we became more sure of our choice and boiled our list down, a colleague eagerly asked us if we’d selected his name. With joy and pride, Kyle answered, “We’ve narrowed it down to three: Elijah, Daniel, Elías.”

I see you –
glaring as I speak Spanish to mijo,
eyeing my white husband; here I am-

“Elijah is beautiful! So is Daniel. But, well, the other one – people like me will end up saying ALIAS!”

I see you –
wondering why ‘Brittany’ and ‘Kyle’
would purposely choose a “barrier”

I was struck by the ignorance. Why not simply ask how to pronounce the name correctly? I couldn’t figure out if I was hurt or angry.

I see you –
your language repertoire limited,
your past a choice to embrace

Elías Decker was born August 13, 2019 to Brittany and Kyle Decker. He is silly. He is stubborn. He is sweet.

Elías negotiates language. He asks to put on his “oosh” to go outside, and proclaims he is “ohsh años.”

Elías points to himself and says “EEah,”properly placing emphasis on the I in his name. Tenderly, we call him Eli (pronounced ‘eh-lee,’ not ‘ee-lie’).

Elías. Elías. Elías.
Tu nombre birthing power
like my body welcoming you earthside.
Que orgullo.

Sometimes I worry, sure. Mostly, though, I am proud. I will raise him to kindly correct you if you mispronounce his name.

This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series “A Name”.

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