When our first child was conceived, we wanted to wait until the baby was born to reveal the gender. In preparation, we chose two names - one for a girl and one for a boy - both with great reverence for our families, and for their heritage. The first names were easy to choose because we knew who we wanted to name him for and all of the wonderful "why's" implied behind the moniker. When our second child was conceived, we knew we had to find out the gender because, in the event he was a boy, we had no idea where to start.
Enter the wonder that is the world wide web, and Ancestry.com! We searched back many generations and discovered a name that became a family name for several generations before it disappeared. When we first saw it, we instantly knew we found IT! Now, two years after finding his perfect name, we have discovered how deep our roots are buried in Scotland and ALL that it stands for.
I confess that I am in love with The Outlander series. In my reading of the series over the past few months (I'm in the middle of Drums of Autumn right now), I have become ravenous in my research and understanding of ALL things to do with Scotland and our Scottish heritage. I have learned SO much about my blood and bones through Ms. Gabaldon's admirable story-telling that I am brought to tears with PRIDE just thinking about my ancestral homeland. My Mother was so compelled that she is actually going on vacation to Scotland this Spring. I have to say, I know the feeling, and I plan to make the journey myself in the next few years.
We are Clan Keith on my Mother's side, and have traced our roots back to the first Keith settlers in America. We are Clan Gillespie of Clan Macpherson on my Father's side and have traced our roots back to Scotland. Because we feel that this is an important part of who we are, we want to incorporate these pieces of our families histories into our children's lives at an early age. So, of course, we felt it appropriate and necessary to attend the Salado Clan Gathering in nearby Salado and soak up as much authenticity as we could here in lil' ole Texas.
And, of course, my Mom, the seamstress, volunteered to make the boys kilts herself. She chose a cotton Black Watch tartan fabric from Joann's because it was closest in color and pattern to Clan Keith's tartan. Clan Gillespie's tartan is the total opposite, mostly red, with green and blue accents. We chose to dress them in the formal white as a sign of reverence to their ancestors and the Clans. I know I'm biased, but these wee bonnie lads drew quite a crowd all on their own, attempting to Celtic dance, like the trained dancers, to the bagpipes that played all day.
We went down to Brushy Creek the next weekend and found a wonderful place to snap a few images of our sweet boys in their kilts just before sunset. I truly enjoy helping my husband take portraits of our clients, but I always joke with him that our own kids make us work harder than any clients ever have! Yet every now and then, the world stops, the shutter clicks and we capture THIS kind of memory of our own.
Ah, these moments are sweet on my lips, and I don't think I could ever want for more than the smiles of my children to shine on my heart and bless me again and again. In the midst of our year of firsts without my late, beautiful Maw Maw Keith, I am still feeling so thankful for our crazy, big, wonderful family this week ... I hope you all are too. Many blessings to you and safe travels wherever your holiday roads lead you this weekend.