Date Night ... {and Second Son's Name}. ~ The Grace Between

Date Night … {and Second Son’s Name}.

Breaking news y’all. We went on a date a month ago.

And now, weeks later, I want to tell you about the night I really truly fell in love with this wee babe in my belly. Not just the idea of him, but the reality of him.

Also, I want to tell you his name.

First, our date.

A cooking class in Nashville, followed by a very rare night out on the town … which for us, ends at midnight, right around the time all the young folk are venturing out into the streets. But I digress.

{Backstory … we love live music, and we especially love live music flowing from tiny stages in hole-in-the-wall establishments. And we especially love Texas country music, even though this is Tennessee. So there’s that.}

We ended up in a sort-of-dive, the Fiddle and Steel Guitar bar, where you {the collective you} can still smoke {sorry, unborn babe} and the guitar player, who appears to be on death’s door from excessive and enthusiastic drug use, is displaying otherworldly talent. The scruffy not-quite-young-anymore lead singer sings a steady, standard menu of old and new country and the Husband, who has just informed me that I married a redneck {like I didn’t know}, comes alive at the sound of George Strait rollicking from the speakers. And I, I am enthralled by the sight of a seventy-ish elderly gentleman in creased wranglers, starched white button down, and ten gallon stetson squiring much younger ladies around the postage stamp of a dance floor.

At some point in the evening, I am maneuvering my pregnant self to the bathroom, trying to downplay the size of my big ole’ belly in a bar.

To enter the bathroom I have to step up and duck down at the same time. The ceiling slopes and the stall door is a faded shower curtain hanging listlessly. There is a line, {of course} and at least one double take as a more-than-slightly-impaired-but-still-very-sweet lady takes in the baby bump and proceeds to coo over my unborn son. While I wait in line, watching my belly in the wavy mirror … a profound change takes place.

He is jumping around this night, he’s nocturnal anyway {plus he is feeling the music}, and something, the wave of my belly, the feet tap dancing outward, his wee hiccups … the enthusiastic movement of my Second Son … suddenly tears are flowing in the dimly-lit bathroom.

Let me back-up. For me, having two miscarriages profoundly changes the emotions that range throughout a pregnancy.

In the first weeks, I am fearful, hesitant to plan, to enjoy, the coming of a new babe. {Plus I am miserable}. There is joy, but it is tentative at best. After the first trimester, I breath deep relief, the fear fades … almost. My joy is building at the idea of a new wee one but he is nameless, faceless, still distant. I keep up barriers, even as he attempts to kick them down, protecting my heart against loss, more grief.

Twenty weeks … ultrasounds are normal, breath deep. Twenty six weeks … he could live now, breath deeper. I may even start nesting now.

And then, in a dingy bathroom, somewhere around thirty weeks, faith all the way replaces fear. And I rejoice at the coming of him, my son, and the reality of his presence crescendoes joy and springs tears and I am unafraid. 

{Now I REALLY start nesting}.

And so, officially, his name is John Quinton Huggins, to be called Jack, {already referred to as Baby Jack around our home and hereafter known as Second Son in this space}

John {“God is gracious”} is a Maddox family name, carried proudly by his great grandfather, {John Robert Maddox} a career soldier who served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. A far from perfect man, but he served his country, his wife and ultimately his God the best way he knew how. My brother, {John Andrew Maddox} also a veteran, bears the name as well, and is too, a man I am proud to know and love. {Also, it’s our Bible name}.

Quinton {Fifth} is a Huggins family name that ranges many generations back, originating in Ireland. His great-great grandmother {Annie Love Quinton Huggins}, great-grandfather {Fred Quinton Huggins}, grandfather {Mark Quinton Huggins}, and again, his uncle {Matthew Quinton Huggins} bear the Quinton name. This name is especially poignant to me … he is our Fifth child, and so in bearing that number, we remember our babes heavenward. In addition, the legacy born by these family men and women is no small thing. My father-in-law wrote the following of his grandmother, Ms. Annie Love: “…The whole span of her life in which you knew her was strikingly outstanding in its simplicity, its basic goodness, and in her complete devotion to her loved ones.” Her son Fred was, like my grandfather, a career soldier {and Army Air Corps crew member} who earned the Silver Star in WWII and endured months of captivity for his bravery. We are honored, and grateful to be a part of this dear family.

Make no mistake, we want this Second Son of ours to love and serve the Lord on his own journey … but to carry with him the hearts, the histories that beat with his own, so tailor-made to fit in ours. 

So yes, I am really truly all the way in love with Mr. John Quinton Huggins {Jack}, who needs to hurry up and come out because my back is really hurting now.


{It’s late, but I’ll dig up some family pictures for fun soon and update this post}.

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