An explanation is in order.
With just a little foresight, we would have known that if we made California your middle name, people would ask us why.
But I guess we did not have much foresight, and when people ask us why California is your middle name, we look at each other. We shrug.
Really, it was the only name that always seemed like the right one.
Alice came easily. Alice is light, but solid. Feminine but not florid. I have read that it means “noble,” and that there was a saint Alice who was born near Brussels and is the patron of the blind and paralyzed.
But California is where you are from. (I think it’s good to be from someplace). And it’s where your family became one.
California is a place where people have lived for years and years and years. And it is a place where people come every day to reinvent themselves.
And if we could give you a little bit of that Western spirit. Of audacity and optimism and possibility, then that’s something I would be proud of.
We tried lots and lots of names on you, my Alice California. Beautiful names. Even on the way to the hospital when you were ready to be born. “What about this one?” “How about this?”
But when finally we were watching you sleep in my arms, David said, “It’s California, isn’t it?”
If you turn out to hate it someday, well, you could trim it back to Alice C. Or something else altogether. A reinvention.
Happy half birthday to Alice, who makes our family whole.
*Not to worry: fully sunscreened, and wasn’t out of the shade for more than a minute.