Jackson Emerson Thoreau Lou Alcindor Manhart? In case you are curious, here is how it happened.
Since Skyler was 2 years old, she has wanted a dog named Lucy. Every stuffed animal she has is named Lucy, and our dog would be too. When we picked out our new dog through Pet Finder, he was named "Fetch" by his foster mom. (And to make things more complicated, according to his vet paperwork, he was called "Jumper" in North Carolina by the woman who found him.)
Sam and I set to work to name the dog, whom we could not call Lucy because he was a boy. We emailed back and forth lots of times with suggestions. Sam thought we should just name the dog "Lou" to honor Skyler's love for "Lucy." But I didn't think that Fetch/ Jumper looked like a Lou. I thought he needed something stronger.
So, it went like this:
I sent this list to Sam: Forest, Emerson, Pedro, Otis, Miles, Moses
He replied: Lou
I wrote: Moose, Blue, Percy, Moby, Ryder, Henry
He replied: Lou
I wrote: Huck, Finnigan, Finn, Milo, Basil, Moxie, Cosmo
He replied: Basil? Are you crazy? Lou.
I wrote: Walt, Hummus, Sailor, Captain, Atticus
He wrote: Edward, Nigel, or Lou
I wrote: Booker, Quincy, Romeo, Rooster, Knox, Jackson, Monk, Marlow
He replied: Okay, I like Marlow. Marlow Gray-Otis Lou Alcindor Manhart.
But then, I decided I didn't like Marlow, who is the enigmatic protagonist of Heart of Darkness. Too weird. Too dark.
Lou (spelled Lew) Alcindor was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's name before he changed it. Which doesn't, like, have anything important to do with us, or anything, but Sam just started saying "Lou" and then "Lou Alcindor" as the name, or middle name, of any dog we would have.
So....Jackson was in that original list. Did you see it in there?
I was keeping the whole dog thing a secret from Skyler and Reed, but one morning in the car last week, I said to Skyler: "If we were to ever get a dog, and it turned out to be a boy, what would you want to name him?"
Me: "Well, that's a girls name. Can you think of any boy names?"
Skyler: "Jake! or Jack! or Jackson!"
Me: "Jackson! I love that." And there it was.
I knew that Lou Alcindor (even though it is mispelled) had to get in there for inside-joke purposes, and Emerson and Thoreau are the two authors equally important to Sam and me, so that's where the name came from.
If it had been just me it would have been:
Jackson Emerson Thoreau Austen Bronte Salinger Fitzgerald Jonathan Papelbon Manhart
By the way, Skyler and Reed are both very happy with the name, and have been running around the house for the last 24 hours yelling: "JACKSON! JACKSON! HERE, JACKSON! COME HERE, JACKSON! GOOD BOY, JACKSON!"
Skyler said last night: "Mom, this was the best day of my life."
This morning, I brought the dog into her room to wake her up. He licked her face all over the place and she said, before even opening her eyes, "Awwww. I love you too, Jackson."