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New Baby, New (Old) Tradition?

Gideon and EllieTrust new mom Felicia Boylan to shake things up in Fool’s Gold, bringing back a tradition so old that it was forgotten by all but the most scholarly academics.

“Almost eight hundred years ago, the matriarchal Maá-zib tribe settled along the shores of what is now known as Lake Ciara, after sixteen months of walking northward to escape the indignity of virgin sacrifice,” Felicia says. “To commemorate this epic journey, they established a baby naming ceremony that took place sixteen days after the birth. In those days, they wouldn’t have allowed men at the ceremony, even the father, but I thought it would be appropriate to allow Gideon to participate, since our society has evolved to become neither matriarchal nor patriarchal.”

“Thanks, babe,” Gideon calls out from the other side of the couple’s large living room, where he’s talking to a group of men near the fireplace. His teenage son Carter is at his side, cradling his unnamed baby sister. The sound in the high-ceilinged great room is a pleasant mixture of masculine rumble and feminine laughter from the women drinking margaritas around the dining room table.

Felicia calls everyone out to the back deck. It’s sunny and 65 degrees, and the view stretches on forever. Together, the new mom and dad lift the baby toward the sky and say, “Gabrielle-Emilie.”

“Gabrielle-Emilie,” everyone proclaims before breaking into cheers that echo off the mountain.

“We’re going to call her Ellie for short,” Felicia says.

“Like my mom?” Carter’s voice is tight, as if he’s holding back tears.

“In her memory,” Gideon tells his son, wrapping an arm around the teen’s shoulders.

Carter’s not the only one who’s moved by the baby’s name. Gideon’s twin brother Gabriel assumes that Gabrielle-Emilie is named after him.

“Please don’t disabuse him of the idea,” Felicia says quietly. “His feelings might be hurt if he knew we named our daughter after an 18th-century French physicist and aristocrat. I hope our daughter, too, will achieve a combination of intellectual and social intelligence.”

The name Gabrielle-Emilie and the nickname Ellie were both suggested by Susan’s Facebook friends. Join the fun at www.facebook.com/susanmallery.

Click like to welcome Gabrielle-Emilie to the world!

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