I am not sure if I have mentioned before, or even explained at all in detail where we got the name that we chose and have been holding onto dearly for the last 4 years since we got married and started trying to have a family.
We chose the name Arie Jackson. Arie is Jack's paternal Grandfather's first name and Jackson is our tribute to Jack, as his father, but since Jack's Grandpa (Arie) goes by Jack, and Jack's Dad is Jack and Jack is a Jr... Things get a little bit confusing in the Irons family. (Did I confuse you? I'm not surprised... Most of the time we still just say Jack to each other and then once in a while, it's clarified with a, 'my Jack?' ... and that's a story for another time... but, Grandma Phyllis has her Jack, mother-in-law has her Jack and I have mine.)
While we were dating, I had the pleasure to get to know Jack's Grandparents. I still had all of my own Grandparents alive and well, and I enjoyed getting an extra set. I remember the first time I met them, I was super nervous. We went over for the Daytona 500 and it was right around my birthday, I was about to turn 20! (My how time flies lol) I carefully planned what I was going to wear... I wore a tan skirt and a sweater. I was ridiculously overdressed for the occasion! I quickly learned that Daytona 500 watching involved wearing your favorite driver's polyester coat and jeans.
When Jack and I got married, we did not have an easy go. Long story short, there was a lot of issues that we did not predict... although others in the family told us they saw the situation coming years previously back up the road, but I was not expecting it and Jack was expecting it to a degree... and it was way worse than either of us could have imagined. We had a very limited support frame for our brand new marriage... and the two strongest pedestals in our marriage building us up and encouraging us to leave and cleave as the Bible tells us to, were Grandma and Grandpa Irons.
Jack had always loved his Grandparents, but this made them so much more special to both of us. Getting married is not easy, being newly married and learning what that means is also not easy, and navigating the difficulties of relationships with families as things change and grow is really not easy... and they were just an unbelievable amount of support and love that really were the supports and glue that helped hold us together through the rocky first years as we learned to hold close to each other and let what may come our way not knock us down or pull us apart.
Since we started dating, both Jack and I knew that we wanted a family. Preventing a family from getting started was really never in the cards for us, and we waited and waited... and I'm pretty sure any of you who read this blog at all probably know the rest of the story. But shortly after we got married we began to really "try" for this family that we have been dreaming about and waiting for. And in that dear time of blissful ignorance of our situation, we were able to dream like normal first time newlyweds who were trying to become first time parents... and we quickly decided what our first son's name would be. We knew that we did NOT want a Jack Irons The 3rd... so Jackson is what we quickly came up with for a middle name... and fell madly in love with Arie being the first name.
Obviously, we waited a LONG time to share this with anyone. Mostly, there are name snatchers out there everywhere... and this name was so precious to us, and ever more precious as the months and years crawled by that we didn't have a chance to even think of using this name. And, the longer we had to wait, the more heartbreaking it was to not get to use the name.
As soon as we found out that I was pregnant, and came back down to Earth after those first few weeks (and months, who am I kidding) of disbelief, we wasted no time sharing the names that we had chosen for a boy. We knew for sure that if this child was a boy, he already had a name. I had a feeling from the beginning that this was going to be my little Arie Jackson all along... even though I was the only one who felt that way, I still knew in my heart that God had given us a son.
Once we announced what we were going to be naming our son, and how to pronounce it (R - E) we began to experience some backlash and arguments about how Arie was truly pronounced. Phonetically, Arie is pronounced like it's spelled. Mother-in-law and father-in-law were convinced that it was pronounced Airy or Aerie. I have no idea why. Eventually, father-in-law called his dad and asked him how to pronounce his name. Grandpa tells him, "Arie is pronounced R-E." Thus ending the argument from MIL and FIL, but regardless of how Grandpa pronounced it, we were still going to pronounce it R-E. Anyway....
Then there was even more confusion in the family... Grandma calls Grandpa any number of things... From Arie to Ira to A.J. to Jack. So what is his *real* name?? And why is there so much confusion about Mr. Jack Irons Sr. Sr. ? (ha inside family Joke I suppose)
This past week, we got the chance to see the eldest Mr. Irons and I got to ask The Man himself.
(You may remember this little gem.)
Jack and I went out in the garage with his cousin and Grandpa to check out Jack's 1962 Plymouth Savoy that he is putting up on eBay to sell, and while we were in the garage I asked Grandpa if he found the conversation odd that he had with his son (FIL) when he called to ask how his first name was pronounced. He said no, it's not odd, for some reason no one knows how to pronounce it.
Then, dearest Grandpa launches into the story of how his name came to be... and why everyone calls him something different.
When Grandpa was born, his father's name was R.L. for Ralph Lafatte (or something like that) and Great Grandma told the person who was filling out the birth certificate that she wanted his name to be R.E. (kinda like his dad's name, only different.) Well the person heard her and wrote "Arie". Being good down home country folk from Tennessee, she didn't see the need to correct it since it was just details. Great Grandma brought Grandpa home and her father, Great Great Grandfather took one look at baby Arie and said, "Uh uh... no way. I am NOT calling that child Arie. His name is JACK." So, This is where he got Jack Irons from. He grew up introducing himself as Jack and his family called him Jack.
Then comes time for Grandpa Jack to be enrolled into school. Great Grandma takes him up to school and while she is telling the person filling out the paperwork his name, she tells her Arie... and the woman writes down, "Ira." Being the good, down home country lady Great Grandma was, she didn't see the need to correct this lady at the risk of being rude and all... so Jack Irons became Ira Irons.
Ira went along through his school years, making friends and eventually growing up and getting his driver's license... which said Ira Irons on it, and started dating this pretty little thing named Phyllis... Grandma Phyllis. Grandma knew Grandpa as Jack, as he was known to his friends, and Ira, his given name.
Now, like I said, Grandpa is a down home country boy... and them country boys sometimes don't see eye to eye with the law, and as it goes, Mr. hotrod got pulled over a time or two. Well, one of these times when he was about 16 or 17 years old, this nice old Police officer didn't quite understand why Grandpa's driver's license read "Ira Irons" and his birth certificate read "Arie Irons." Grandpa had no idea what to tell the man... and went home to ask his mom. Great Grandma explained that his real name was Arie, and how it got messed up while he was in school. So he had to go on through all the hoops and change his name on his driver's license to Arie Irons.
Then Grandma and Grandpa got married and started having kids... the first born being Jack Sr (FIL) and he grew up hearing his mom call his dad "Ira" because that's how she knew him. Nevermind what his given name was, and sometimes he was called Jack, especially by his friends and other family members. Arie was just a detail that really didn't matter.
So... that's the long convoluted story of how Grandpa is called so many different names :) However, when we name our son, we will purposefully be naming him Arie Jackson ... and I'm guessing he will be called Arie Jack a lot to fit in with this family of Jack Irons and under his legacy.