Elliott and I worked on a name for our son for months. We knew we wanted to cull his first and middle names from our family heritage, so we spent awhile piecing together family trees and picking out our favorite first and last names on both sides. We would then try out different combinations, saying them aloud over and over. Eventually, we thought we had the right one.
But then our baby just did not look like a… well, can’t say because we might use it one day!
So there we were, in the hospital, everyone asking us what his name was, and we had no idea. We went back to the drawing board and at some point one of us remembered an old favorite. “What about Mark Gilchrist? And call him Gil?” And then back and forth and back and forth again… and it just fit. What could we say? He was our Gil Garber.
“Mark” is my father’s name, and I am so proud to name our son after my dad. I know my dad’s mom, my beloved Gramma (who died when I was pregnant with Lena), would have loved that! I hope in so many ways that Gil is like my dad: sincere and thoughtful in faith, a seeker of true truth, a lover of books and reading, a disciplined and conscientious worker, a man who prioritizes his wife and children before any other relationships, a faithful and honest friend, and, of course, an insatiable adventurer.
“Mark” is also the name of the author of the Gospel of Mark and one of the first New Testament missionaries.
“Gilchrist” is an old Scottish name, probably of Gaelic origin, that means “servant of Christ.” “Gilchrist” is also a family name on Elliott’s father’s side, which they have traced back to the 12th century in Scotland. The Gilchrist denominational heritage is Reformed Presbyterian, and there have been RP Gilchrists since the early days of the Protestant Reformation (16th century). A significant Gilchrist in the recent family history was Elliott’s great-grandfather, Herb Gilchrist, who was a Colorado cattle rancher and deacon in his local RP congregation. Elliott’s dad spent many summers of his childhood with his Gilchrist grandparents in Colorado and felt a very close connection with them their whole lives. Gil’s Uncle David has the middle name Gilchrist, too.
We were thrilled to have some visitors that first day in the hospital, including a lot of little kiddos who were very excited to see the baby!
We’re hugely grateful to our dear friends the Arthurs, who watched Lena for us that weekend. She was in heaven, I can tell you. She asks every day if we’re going to see them. “Bukka? [Becca?] Dosh? [Josh?] Ees? [Elise?]”
Thanks to the sweet Arthurs, Elliott was able to stay with me the entire 36 hours that Gil and I were in the hospital. I savored that time with just the three of us. Elliott and I had so much time to just sit and talk and admire our baby. It hasn’t quite been like that since we got home with Lena bouncing around us all day long!
I also am kind of a funny natural birth mama, I guess, because I actually like being in the hospital. Think about it:
- So much food… multiple courses delivered to you on a tray while you lounge in bed! You didn’t have to prepare or plate a single dish. And they take away the dirty dishes when you’re done.
- People make sure that you are okay all the time (not you making sure everyone else is okay).
- You can shower anytime you want to… and without a toddler in the stall with you.
- They make your bed with fresh sheets every day.
- … and you can eat all the chocolate pudding you could ever want.
What can I say? Sometimes it’s the littlest things that mean the most… like that darling little baby in your arms!