On Monday, October 17, we welcomed June Audrey Dymski into the world. She brought June Days back to October, arriving at the beginning of the week where the temperatures have been in the eighties. We could not be more thankful or in love. There’s a joy we never new in the banal activities of life: burping, swaddling, sleeping and eating, that remind us again how fearfully and wonderfully made this darling girl is; how perfectly crafted and stitched together.
One day she will ask us, I’m sure, why we named her June Audrey. Audrey was easy. Andrew and I decided a while back that all the middle names of our children will be family names. Audrey is the name of one of my wonderful grandmothers (the other one being Jean and not a name we could pair with June!). My sister Amy and I have had our eyes on this name for a long time, deciding who would get it as a middle name and who would get it as a first. Audrey means noble strength, and we named her for one of the strongest women I know, lovely inside and out. At the age of eighty, we can look at my grandmother’s life and see that it has been and still is one filled with love and laughter—that here is a woman who can say without a shred of doubt that she has been very well loved and has loved well in return. This is our prayer for our daughter—that she will know and walk in this kind of love.
I know though, that she will also ask us why we named her June. And this is what we will say:
We named you for sunshine, for summertime, for sweet tea, for strawberries so ripe they stain fingers and white tee shirts. We named you for the most beautiful month, when the earth is finally warm from the inside out, when the ground is covered with flowers and fruit and vegetables sprouting up. We named you for the longest days, for starry nights, for sitting around flames of a fire in sweaters and bare feet while the fireflies light up the dark sky. We named you for feelings, for moments: of riding a bike to the ice cream shop after dinner, pedaling home in the last light of the sun, of sitting in a canoe in early morning, when the midst rises off of the lake and the loons sing to each other, of walking out of school that last day with a light backpack and the promise of endless summer day after day stretched out in front of you like a roll of bubblegum tape. We named you for weeks at the beach that contain all that is right and full in life, for sand in your sheets, for sunburnt shoulders and lemon freezey pops.
June means youth, newness. We named you for new seasons, for bright beginnings. We named you for the tomato plants that burst from the ground and stretch their leaves to the sky. We named you for the month your dad told me he loved me while we stared at the waves on the beach in a thunderstorm, for the month a year later when I said I loved him back. We named you for the month we stood before our dearest friends and family and promised each other forever, for the month that was the gateway into the sweetest years of our lives.
And here in are arms, is our newest beginning. You are to us a miracle, and we have watched you grow and change in my belly with swelling hearts and helpless awe. We have done nothing to make you the way you are, and yet, here you are, fully formed, fresh, new, beautifully pieced together.
You are, for us, a reminder: that we, all of us, are intimately known, that summer always comes again, that we are loved with an everlasting love spanning generations and centuries, that right from the start, you were held by hands much more capable than ours. You are imprinted with dreams, with talents we know nothing about yet, and as we discover them and encourage them in the years to come, we will be reminded that as the June of summertime is a gift to the world, the June in our family is a gift to us. You are everything a June Bug was meant to be, and we have already loved you a very long time.