I was 16 when my English teacher assigned us “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I tentatively opened the pages and fell into that book. Dill and Scout and Boo Radley were like neighbors. The soft tones of the words and the narrative pace that lulled me into a hot, sweet, southern world where black people were compared to Mockingbirds and scary neighbors were friends left an indelible mark on my soul. To this day I love both the book and the film.
When David and I discovered we were going to have a girl I quickly volunteered Scout as a possible name. David quickly shot it down. It was too masculine, too odd, it was a name somebody gives a dog. But I loved it and wouldn’t let go of the idea of paying homage to one of my favorite books.
I then suggested Jane. Jane Erye is another one of my favorite books and Jane Austen a favorite author – it seemed right. This time David agreed. He liked the name and with it also being his grandmother’s name felt that we should somehow give that to our new girl. However, pairing something with Jane proved to be far more difficult than we thought.
We went through countless variations. We tried Jane both as a first name and as a middle name. As the delivery date grew closer and closer we began to worry that we would have the first nameless baby born into this family. And then we settled on something – a name that we felt was both unique without being weird. A name that gives a nod to my literary interests and has meaning. A name that she could grow into over the years.
Please welcome Harper Jane Morley