Thursday, September 17, 2009

Graming My Dreams

First of all, an explanation of the title: when I arrived at my first area in Spain—Sevilla Third Ward—my trainer immediately took me across the street to Alcampo, a store kind of like Super Walmart but (in Sevilla, anyway) with multiple floors. As we walked through the store, I happened to notice the CD racks and came across what was then the Cranberries’ new album, No Need to Argue. What’s more, it was a special edition, containing a live E.P. in addition to the full-length CD, itself. (I assume Europeans do that because CDs are so freaking expensive, over there; it sweetens the deal, a little.) I wound up purchasing it and sending it home, so I’d have it when I got back.

Fast forward a couple of years, when I was back in the States and no longer bound by mission rules. As I looked more closely at the liner notes, I noticed that parts of the track list were misspelled: specifically, the title track—which was spelled correctly, elsewhere—was accidentally listed as No Nedd to Argue, while Dreaming My Dreams was spelled as above. (I had actually noticed that one, immediately, but just figured “graming” was some Irish word I wasn’t familiar with. How naïve I was!) ;-)

So now, back to our regularly scheduled program:

The last couple of nights, I’ve been having some very interesting dreams. In the first one, Dave Pitcher—the local director of LDSFS—arrived at our house and handed us a two-day-old baby boy. He was Caucasian, with a full head of straight, very dark (nigh unto black) hair; and beautiful. His birthmother had loved him enough to leave him at a hospital in Indianapolis, knowing full well that she couldn’t take care of him. We immediately accepted him as our own—for indeed he was—and set about deciding what to name him.

That’s where the most interesting part came up: Anna and I have often discussed boy names, but have always had great difficulty coming up with any. Our top choice, Sam, was negated by Anna’s brother Ed naming his son Samuel (which bothered me a lot, at the time, since the only reason we hadn’t had several children by then was our stupid infertility; thankfully, I’m long since over that). We only agree on about three others, though, and we’ve now used two of them on our sons David and Daniel. As such, pretty much the only name we have left is Seth—which we initially determined to use, for the child in our arms. A little later in the dream, though, I got to thinking about why we want to use that name.

Anna and I have always loved the name Seth, but these days, it takes on a new significance. The name seems to have originated with Adam and Eve, who after the death of their son Abel, gave it to their next son. As recorded in Genesis 4:25:

And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.”

If we do wind up having another son, in this life, would Seth be an appropriate name? For us, certainly, but what about for the child himself? That’s what I worried about, in the dream: if we named this baby Seth, would he consider himself second rate? Would he spend his life thinking, “Am I just the ‘substitute Daniel,’” the baby nobody really wanted, but whom my parents thought was better than nothing?

What do you think about this? I’ll come back later, to post about last night’s dream, but I’d really like some feedback. It’s my (hypothetical, but still) son’s self-worth we’re talking about, here.



  1. You have to admit the odds of him making the connection between his own name being Seth and Seth being the name of Adam and Eve's son after Abel had been slain. After all, I doubt (unless you failed to include this in your post) that this is the reason for you and Anna liking the name in the first place...? In other words, if you never had a reason to point it out in the first place, he likely wouldn't ever draw the connection.

    Now, on the other hand, supposing he does make the connection on his own, he's not going to until he's well into his teenage years (at the earliest). By then, I would certainly think that he's at a point in his life where he would have plenty of support and reasons NOT to doubt your and Anna's love for him.

  2. True. I suppose it also stems from the fact that we’ve discussed giving our next son “Daniel” as a middle name, in honor of his brother (or self, if indeed it works that way). ;-)

    Good observation, though. Thanks!