The title of this blog post is incorrect. My son, Niklas insists that he is a big boy. He is almost four, but he says he is three and half years old. And he can take care of others. He does it every day. In his own wonderful way.
Recently, he made one of my wishes come true.
Shortly after Easter we found out that our family of three will become a family of four by the end of the year.
We are awaiting a girl.
Niklas was very disappointed when we found this out, because he wanted a little brother, whose name would be Gilbert, after one of his best friends at the kindergarten.
I started searching in the internet for popular girl names. I read through the list to Michael, my husband, and Niklas. Michael said he liked all names on the list.
After several days, my favorite name became Emma. I realized it when I talked to my niece and a girlfriend of mine about Jane Austen and also about her books from other authors based on Austen’s books. “Emma” by Alexander McCall Smith comes out end of this year. And Emma has been always my favorite from Austen’s characters.
When I considered why, I was surprised. It was not because she was perfect. On the contrary, she had flaws, was a little arrogant and at times a bit ignorant to wishes of others. She thought she knew what was good for others. But I like her because she was willing to learn. And she was kind, sweet and quirky. With time she became even more kind, attentive, humble without losing her sweetness or quirkiness.
As I thought of this, I realized that someday I want to give this book to my daughter. I would like her to know that I don’t expect her to be perfect. I just want her to find her way and be healthy and happy along this way. And to live long. These are the three wishes I have for my children, my husband and all people I hold dear to my heart. That they are healthy, happy and live long. For me, these three include everything else. For example, one of the character features I value the most, the ability and wish to learn and be curious, is on my opinion a component of being happy.
But Niklas had of course another idea. He wanted his sister to be named Gitte Marie. I argued that we need only one name, because so far in our family every one of us has only one given name. Niklas claimed that Gitte Marie was only one word, one name. He pronounced it in one breath. GitteMarie.
Niklas talks a lot about the new baby at the kindergarten and that he will be a big brother soon. The educators put many warm and interested questions to me about the pregnancy and how I feel and how we talk about it in the family.
I told them about GitteMarie and their answer was: “How sweet! But he probably means Ida Marie. This is the girl we have here and this is the only name coming close to what Niklas says.”
On the same day on the way home, I told Niklas about his friend Ida Marie at the kindergarten and her name. I completely forgot to think or to talk about my preferences. I only mentioned that we need to have one name. Not two.
Suddenly, Niklas asked me: “What name do you prefer?”
“Emma”, I said.
“So be it. Let her be Emma.”
This was a big surprise for me. “Are you sure?”
“Ok, but we will need to ask your Dad if he agrees.”
The first thing Niklas did when we entered our apartment was running to his Dad and asking, “Papa, do you have anything against my baby sister being called Emma?”
Michael looked surprised and answered with a smile, “Nothing at all.”
Niklas looked triumphantly at me and said, “So it is decided. She will be Emma.”
Since then, I started calling my daughter by her first name when I talk about her or to her. And every time I say “Emma”, Niklas’ face brightens up as if remembering, “Ah yes, this is my baby sister!”
This sweet story will always remain in my memory. Niklas didn’t only make one of my wishes come true but he did also something else: he embraced this idea as his own and was very proud of it. I am very proud of my son and thankful to him that he reminded me how wonderful it is to say yes to what is coming our way, also when we take a little time to say yes.
Picture: Niklas and I and a swing.