Most people who know Shawn and I well know that Jack Johnson is one of our favorite musicians. We part ways in some of our musical tastes, but Jack Johnson always brings us back together. He is an awesome blend of laid back, mellow beach music with incredible and poignant lyrics. I recently read in Rolling Stone his music described by Eddie Vedder as "Anti-Road Rage" music. That is a perfect description. Mellow, laid back, groovy. And many of our nearest and dearest also know that our first born son is actually named after Jack. In my 2 years of writing this blog that is a detail I don't think I have shared. No, we're not creepy stalker-fans! There is a story behind it. So here goes...
Unexpectedly, in late August of 2003, I peed on a pregnancy stick (that part wasn't unexpected - I planned that part), and the little window box on the pregnancy test showed two lines (that was the unexpected part). We had been trying to "make a baby" for many months, having miscarried our first baby 6 months prior. It was a long 6 months to "recovery" for us - mostly me I suppose. And I was getting a little annoyed and frustrated. Oh I know there are plenty of people who try for much, much longer than that to have a baby, but by that point I had already once seen a positive pregnancy test, only to have those hopes dashed, and I was starting to lose sanity at this point. We were about to hit 9 months from when we had nonchalantly decided "hey, I bet we could make a cute kid - let's make a baby!" So desperation had sort of set in. I had had a few months of false hopes in addition. Times were looking bleak. But that morning I just said to hell with it, I'm going to pee on a stick!
Shawn and I were going to a concert with our friends T&D in George, Washington, and I figured well, if I was pregnant, and by chance the test proved that, well then I would at least abstain from alcoholic beverages at the event. I didn't really think I was pregnant. I felt fine, save one moment of dizziness the week prior on a warmer than norm summer afternoon. But low and behold there were those two pink lines staring me in the face. My hand sort of started shaking and breathlessly I yelled to Shawn in the other room. "HONEY!" I didn't intend to whisper but sound was escaping me. I then wandered sort of dazed into the living room where he was watching morning TV, drinking coffee. He looked at me quizzically.
"Honey...I think we're pregnant..." I managed to eek out. The smile my husband gets when he is truly excited is probably my favorite of all his smiles. It is sort of like the little boy in him comes out, with a bashful but joyous grin, and his eyes sort of glimmer. He flashed that smile, leaped to his feet, and of course threw his arms around me with excitement. We were both stunned but decided that cautious optimism would be our plan of attack.
We of course continued on with our plans to head to the Gorge in George. I felt mischievous having this little secret from the rest of the world (though of course I spilled the beans to T - I mean, she would be totally on to me if I refused red wine). We all had an awesome time at the concert that night. The Gorge is an amazing outdoor amphitheater on the Columbia River. The stage is practically carved into the rocks and the sun sets just behind the musicians. It is all very "kumbaya" feeling. It is an experience not to be missed.
Performing that cool summer night, way back in August of '03, was Jack Johnson. We were all fans and so excited to see him live. And I felt an extra tingle of excitement hoping this was my baby's first of many concerts. At one point, as we were all mellowing out to Jack's tunes, T turns to us and says "Hey, if ya'll have a boy you should name him Jack!" It was sort of a joke, in a way. But Shawn and I both looked at each other and knew that if the baby was a healthy one and a boy, we would definitely name him Jack. It was settled, right then and there, barely 2 minutes pregnant. Jack.
Over the course over the next 9 months we were thrilled to know that not only was our baby a strong and healthy child, but a boy as well. The first boy in my immediate family in ages. The name Jack stuck, adding on the "son" somewhere along the way. And James, after my father. After 9 months (2 weeks of which I was on bed rest because that baby boy gave my high blood pressure even before he was on this earth) he arrived into this world healthy and strong, right on his due date. Our perfect little boy. Jackson James.
So that is that. That is how our little man's name came to be. We adore the name and it fits him to a t. We also still love rocking out to Jack Johnson. Even Jackson has come to recognize his tunes. They are unmistakable and fun - just like our little man.
By the way, Jack Johnson's newest CD: "Sleep Through The Static" is on continuous play in my car and on my iPod. I'm loving it. Currently my favorite song on there is "Angel" and it is the type of song any good woman would want her sweet lov'n hubby to write about her. It is sooooo sweet. In so many ways.
"Angel" - Sleep Through The Static
I’ve got an angel
She doesn’t wear any wings
She wears a heart that could melt my own
She wears a smile that could make me want to sing
She gives me presents
With her presence alone
She gives me everything I could wish for
She gives me kisses on the lips just for coming home
She can make angels
I’ve seen it with my own eyes
You’ve got to be careful when you’ve got good love
Cause them angels will just keep on multiplying
You’re so busy changing the world
Just one smile and you could change all of mine
We share the same soul