My youngest daughter's birthday is next week, and her continual reminders have me reminiscing about how my husband and I decided on her name.
When I was a kid, nothing symbolized summer quite like finding cicada bug skins around our yard--clinging to the gray bricks of our house, slim blades of grass, and the thorny, green Palo Verde branches. I would grab a sandwich baggie from the house and fill it with all of the skins I could find. They'd crackle when I picked them, protesting their release from whatever item they clung to.
After several days of carrying my baggie around, the skins became a smashed brown mass that my mother insisted I throw away. Which I did, right before grabbing another baggie and looking for more skins.
Besides the grumbling roar of thunder during a monsoon, the buzzing of cicadas in the trees has always been my favorite summer sound.
So I told my husband that I wanted to name our baby Secada, if we had a girl (of course I changed the spelling; I'm not that cruel).
I could tell right away that he didn't like the idea. So we let the matter drop for a while.
We settled on a boy's name months before my due date, but as August crept to a close, my husband still wouldn't agree to name his daughter after a bug. I tried throwing in his favorite grandmother's middle name for our daughter, but he wouldn't commit.
Until one quiet summer evening.
After putting our three children to bed, we relaxed on the couch to enjoy a few precious moments of peace before pregnancy exhaustion forced me to go to sleep. As we cuddled, I again approached the problem of a girl's name.
He sighed. "I don't know."
We sat in silence. Then we heard a soft rap on the door. So quiet that we weren't sure we'd heard anything.
We listened...and heard it again, a little louder.
My husband walked to the door and cautiously pulled it open.
A cicada flew inside.
It circled the room before settling on our ceiling fan.
My husband looked from the bug to me and then back at the insect. He shrugged. "Okay, we'll name her Secada."
He re-opened the door, and with a flutter of wings, the cicada flew out the door.
Unbelievable, but true.
Even more unbelievable: my little Secada bug turns 11 on Wednesday.