Baby Names – Nathan Part 4of4

December 30th, 2017

Baby names, the finale. Read the previous articles in the series for the full account of how our kids got their names.

After having three kids, all boys, I had reached my limit on how many children I thought would be appropriate for our little family. Not to mention, I had just left active duty in the military, and was trying to carve out my niche in the civilian world with boys ranging in age from 2, 4, and 5 years old. I joined the National Guard, to keep my foot in the door of the military, and as it turned out, to provide an occasional boost to my income over the next few years. Without a regular job, and no health insurance just yet, the thought of another baby was out of the question.

While I waited for a slot in the next training school for my new, Air Force National Guard military occupation, I managed to make a little money as an ice cream truck driver. Trust me, the pay sucks, the hours are long, but it is still my most favorite job ever. You're a rock star with all the Kidds, everybody knows the ice cream man, and kids come running out of the woodwork at the sound of the ice cream bell. The celebrity status is only secondary to Santa Claus, and you never have to hide behind a red suit or beard. Of course, outside your truck, you have the anonymity of Clark Kent, and your secret identity means your private life is all your own. But I digress from my saga of baby names.

So, amid being grossly underpaid, and with few prospects, and waiting for a year long school to come my way to interrupt any job I might find anyway, Robin started showing the telltale signs of a woman with child. She vehemently denied it, but went to see her doctor, and the news was confirmed. Fast forward a little, and I get my orders to report to begin my training. We calculate the number of months before child #4 is to arrive, and it falls smack dab in the middle of my school term. How cool is that? The family can move to the base, since I'll be activated, and be on base for so long. We get full benefits to the base facilities, including the hospital. Though the kid in later years might like to claim he was an accident, we have to point out that an accident is what happens when parents aren't married when the unexpected event happens. He was a surprise. Not only that, but a surprise who happened to have the impeccable timing to be born at the most convenient time, regarding to employment and benefits.

His entire situation was nothing short of a gift... hence his name... Nathan. Continuing our bible themed names, we tried out a few possibilities, and thought Daniel gave a nice addition, and nice ring to his name. After my nicknaming of the previous kids, Robin insisted, "You are not going to give this kid a stupid nickname like all the others." What? Me? Why mother, I don't know what you're talking about! None of my beloved children have anything but well thought out names, and nicknames. There's nothing stupid about them.

Out loud I said, "That's fine. This one is all yours to give a nickname as you see fit. I just don't feel inspired to extend a prophetic name to him, as I've done in the past."

Right up to the day he was born, I remained clueless on any kind of nickname for him. Within hours of being born, I was in the hospital room, mom was cradling the newborn, and a nurse entered to take some routine statistics or other. I have to admit, she was an attractive young nurse... and apparently Nathan thought so too. The instant she crossed the threshold of the room, he looked up at her, tracked her movement across the room to glance at the charts, move to the bedside to make note of some new vital statistic to record, and leave. The whole time, he never took his eyes off her. I still wasn't inspired to come up with a nickname for the kid, but somehow I knew the moment was prophetic. It was.

The kid had a knack for wrapping womenfolk around his little finger as he grew up. Little old church ladies would offer him candy because he was just so cute. Despite Robin warning them off. Somehow he would come home with the forbidden goodies in his pockets, and a cheesy grin on his face in rendering the power of mom useless.

Robin somehow came up with the name, Nater Tater. Which morphed into variations. Nate Tate. Tater Tot, TT, or just T, or Mr T. (No relation, or resemblance to the star of the well known TV series, the A-Team... I pity the foo' who thinks so!)

I tried my hand at it with a tough sounding name. Nate the Snake. It just didn't fit. Skunk Face? Hey, the skunk in Bambi is a cute little critter... but no, it didn't fit either. Besides, by the time I thought of it, he was old enough to toddle around, and gave me one of those classic, little kid eye rolls, with an exasperated, "dad. Don't call me that." I didn't do it anymore.

I know this isn't a long article, but there isn't much else to tell in the naming story of Nathan. Combined with the full story of "The Brothers" as they collectively became known, the whole saga is a bit too long for one article to handle, but if you haven't already done so... go back and read the other articles for the complete story.

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