The first name of our son has been a back and forth between Matt and myself since way before Alice was born. Everyone throws around names when they think about kids and we never agreed on a name except a few. In fact Adam and Vincent were top contenders and my sister Liz, not on purpose and unknown to her, took both for her son. So we have spent the past 8 months back and forth back and forth over the name. Every name I'd hear that sounded good I wrote down in a list. Girl names I had a billion but boy names oof. Tricky!
I had one name and only one name on my list that I took seriously: Walter. After my hero and a man that feels like he's practically part of our family, Walt Disney. Uncle Walt. I have a framed photo of him in my office and my sister Mary once posted it on her instagram "Walt Disney made it onto my sister's family photo shelf. I guess because he technically did help raise us."
Matt wasn't wild about the name and I kept saying we can call him "Wally" and since the lifelong Angel fan couldn't resist a Wally Joyner reference, a first name was decided.
Though Matt has a lot of male cousins, we've had a lot of girls in the Fredrich family being born and funnily enough, Wally will be the first to carry on the name. With our duty done, and since Alice's middle name comes from Matt's grandmother I thought we should give our boy a name from my side of the family. Trouble was, names on my family's side are way too Mexican, my father's name is Federico (Federico Fredrich? No) and hard to pronounce and I was thisclose to settling on my brother's name: Abraham. He's one of my best friends and I still love the name but Matt felt we should name him after a family member at least a little older than my brother. As a lark I said well all I have left is my Tio Rey. And it was decided.
My Uncle Rey's full name is Rey Arturo which is King Arthur. He was born on the "Dia de los Reyes" and he's the baby boy of the family, "El Nene", right before my mom and her twin sister. He's been the funniest dude in our family for ages until he recently told me that he's given up his starring role and let the younger generation now be the stars. I spent the summer after my freshman year at college living with he and his wife my Aunt Leti and they had been the only role model marriage I knew from our family of unfortunately broken ones and they have taught me about hard work and enjoying the simple things in life. They became parents much older after much difficulty and their daughters are brilliant. Mia is the oldest and Valeria (in the photo below), a surprise, has autism. I don't know such devoted parents as my aunt and uncle. When I called him and asked him "the favor" of letting me use his name for our son, "R-E-Y?" "Yup, R-E-Y" we spent 20 minutes talking about adulthood, family, life, my mom/his sister, and being parents in our 30s. After that call I felt so at peace knowing that we're naming this kid after the right man.
So those are the men we named our son after. We take names seriously around here (Lebowski. Wozniak.) and I love having a person and a story behind a name.
And now you know the story. You can tell it to my son sometime.