[name_f]Petra[/name_f] [name_f]Olympias[/name_f] arrived safely at home at 4:47pm on [name_u]July[/name_u] 28, 2021, weighing 7lb14oz and measuring 20.5 inches. [name_f]Petra[/name_f] is our final baby and joins big brothers H0rat1o F3l1x and Ana$tas1o R@z.
[name_f]Petra[/name_f] honors my 2nd great grandmother, born [name_f]Genevieve[/name_f] “Jule” [name_u]Roche[/name_u] and her Irish-American [name_u]Roche[/name_u] family line. It was important to me to honor this matrilineal side of my family in particular for a daughter. [name_f]Genevieve[/name_f] was one of 7 [name_u]Roche[/name_u] sisters, but [name_f]Petra[/name_f] is the daughter of the only child (me, daughter) of the only daughter (my mom) of the only daughter (my grandma) of the only daughter (my great grandma) of [name_u]Jule[/name_u] [name_u]Roche[/name_u]. She was amazing for so many reasons, but it was ultimately the most important to me to honor her of all the people we could have chosen to honor with one final name.
[name_f]Petra[/name_f] is just such a snappy powerhouse of a name, cosmopolitan yet down-to-earth, modern yet ancient, fiesty yet steady. I loved [name_f]Petra[/name_f] Solano of [name_f]Jane[/name_f] the Virgin and I read the children’s art mystery novel Chasing Vermeer while pregnant and exploring the name, wherein [name_f]Petra[/name_f] Andalee is a quirky and precocious protagonist.
[name_f]Olympias[/name_f] is an incredibly meaningful name for me. I’ll include here an extensive quote from a previous post about the name for context, but ultimately the timing of her birth as 49 moon cycles after her eldest brother and the ways in which measurements of four years connote meaning to our family, plus the idea that this happens to coincide with the actual Olympic games unexpectedly by happenstance… [name_f]Olympias[/name_f] was simply too perfect to have not been included in her name.
[name_f]Olympias[/name_f] has been the rising star of this year . [name_f]Olympia[/name_f] was on my longlist previously, but she never got up very far. I love [name_f]Olympe[/name_f], but my partner never has. Yet, he started raving about [name_f]Olympias[/name_f] as an option at the start of this year upon hearing an episode of the Hardcore History: Addendum podcast about Queen [name_f]Olympias[/name_f] and now he is obsessed and followed it up reading Elizabeth Carney’s biography of her. He has been talking about how awesome she was and how much power she held and wielded as she wished and what an underappreciated historical figure she was.
She really was an amazing figure and a true bada**. Wife of [name_m]Philip[/name_m] II and mother to [name_m]Alexander[/name_m] the Great. Whether in order to wield political power against rivals who might otherwise underestimate her, to worship [name_m]Dionysus[/name_m], or just for kicks and giggles, she is said to have regularly slept surrounded by snakes in her bed. She was considered a spell-caster and a priestess of [name_m]Dionysus[/name_m]. She did nothing to dispel these rumors about her. She regularly corresponded with [name_m]Alexander[/name_m] during his military campaigns and offered strategic advice and reassurance. After Alexander’s death, she waged war herself against Adea [name_f]Eurydice[/name_f] in order to secure her baby grandson’s place as heir. Thousands of soldiers defected against Adea [name_f]Eurydice[/name_f] and refused to fight against Olympias’ army when they saw her standing in full majesty at the head of her army dressed as a follower of [name_m]Dionysus[/name_m] (Maenad, like so, though this is not a depiction of Olympias).
Here are some depictions of [name_f]Olympias[/name_f] for you, starting with some recently installed bronze statues at a fountain in the Macedonian capitol, which depict her during her various stages of motherhood (ostensibly pretty kitschy but I like them).
As portrayed by [name_f]Angelina[/name_f] [name_f]Jolie[/name_f] in the 2004 film [name_m]Alexander[/name_m], which I know I saw in middle school, but barely remember. I’ll have to rewatch it before I give the name to my daughter, but haven’t yet.
It seems to me that this name encompasses so many qualities I wish for my daughter: powerful, tender, intelligent, motherly, unyielding, magical, mysterious, ambitious, intense, wild, strategic, self-assured, unwavering, constant, formidable, carefree, eccentric, etc.
Alright, enough about [name_f]Queen[/name_f] [name_f]Olympias[/name_f]. This would also be for [name_f]Olympe[/name_f] de Gouges to follow up the bada** feminist iconoclastic vibes from the name. I’d likely call her [name_f]Olympe[/name_f] in [name_u]French[/name_u] (which, my husband likes and approves of the name in [name_u]French[/name_u], just not in [name_f]English[/name_f] and it isn’t one of those he feels comfortable saying aloud, so I’d get the best of all worlds in getting to use it on a regular basis).
[name_f]Olympias[/name_f] is a solid metal ox name. Nothing says fortitude and presence quite like [name_f]Olympias[/name_f] to me. It is strange because [name_f]Olympia[/name_f] by contrast appears a bit generic, dainty, and timid. The final -s does SOOO much for me. It’s the hiss of the snake that completes it.
I love the connection to the cult of [name_m]Dionysus[/name_m]. [name_f]My[/name_f] mom is a D3n1se so to me there is a nice non-obvious connection.
As if I haven’t already made a case for the name as is, the most special thing about it to me is the timing. [name_u]An[/name_u] Olympiad is a period of four years, based on an octaeteris (this is why [name_f]Octavia[/name_f] is also on our list). As you’ve picked up by now, H’s name is about “happy time” and A’s name is an event, “resurrection.” [name_f]Olympias[/name_f] would be the [name_f]Olympiad[/name_f], a period of 49 or 50 moon cycles (four years). What’s so special?
- If born full term, she will be born 49 moon cycles after H. This means that my marathon of childbearing and early parenting and adding to our family will draw to a close in this very special [name_f]Olympiad[/name_f] for our family.
- H was born exactly 50 moon cycles after I first moved in with my husband (then boyfriend) and our relationship became serious. So she will be born marking the end of the Octaeteris of our early love and domesticity.
- OK, so I did time when we would start trying to conceive with this idea in mind (once I figured this out this May). However, one never knows when they will conceive or give birth and either way, I was gonna be off by a couple months at most as I knew we were ready to TTC again presently. However… there was one element I couldn’t plan at all:
- A was born and joined our family through adoption exactly 50 lunar months after our marriage on Leap [name_u]Day[/name_u] 2016. So even the child who joined our family from another is forever linked to us through this measurement of an [name_f]Olympiad[/name_f].
- Did you catch that? [name_f]My[/name_f] husband and I got married on Leap Day… that’s already a measurement of four years (or 49/50 lunar months). We literally chose to measure our anniversaries in four year increments. [I know there was an old [name_u]Berry[/name_u], @zennorhydrangea, who named her daughter [name_f]Olympia[/name_f] for this reason as her daughter was nearly a Leapling].
** If born full term, she would be born right around the first or second full moon after the summer solstice, which was the original calendar for the Olympic games, and to top it all off, she will be born in an Ancient Olympic year (modern Olympics are off by one year cuz there is no year zero)… Except, oh, glorious 2021, another element I couldn’t foresee:
- The ACTUAL Olympic Games got rescheduled due to COVID and now they’ll actually match up with the ancient ones for the first time in the Modern era and my duedate is [name_u]July[/name_u] 24 right at the start of the 2020/2021 [name_f]Summer[/name_f] Olympics.
Random Olympics [name_f]Fantasy[/name_f] that is relevant but less important
The really fun thing about the Olympics being rescheduled is that I literally used to fantasize (before kids) about having 3 kids spaced out like the Olympics. I’d have a [name_u]Winter[/name_u] Olympics baby 2018, a [name_f]Summer[/name_f] Olympics baby 2020 (29 month gap), and a [name_u]Winter[/name_u] Olympics baby 2022 (18 month gap) in time for my 30th birthday. The Olympics is basically the only sporting event I watch (I do keep up on Figure Skating all the time, but other sports I only watch then), but I get really into it. I told my partner how much I wanted to be massively pregnant during each Olympics so I could have an excuse to laze around and watch all the events I wanted. Well, when time came to get ready to TTC we did 6 months of our planned 12 months of prep and then said, “eh… waiting to time for a [name_u]March[/name_u] 2018 baby doesn’t seem very important.” I had literally been planning my first cycle TTC partially around the Olympics… decided not to… and here I am 4/5 years later and the Olympics caught up with me based on circumstance. I won’t get to watch nearly as much as I want to because… 3 kids, but ya know… it is living the dream in my own way.
OK, so just general things I like about [name_f]Olympias[/name_f]:
- The prominent O starting it off to match and offset the ending -o for her brothers.
- The y. That gives her a unique “vowel” all her own. The o, i, and a she shares with her brothers and those are the ONLY vowels in their names, but she gets the special sometimes vowel to set her apart.
- The -s ending, which just feels so powerful, definitive, and distinctive. She feels both decisively feminine with the -ia and masculine like a Julius/Octavius type latinate -ius by ear. I love it.
- The gravitas. Girl’s got gravitas.
- The disctinctiveness of the name, but the recognizability and pronounceability based on the relation to the Olympics. I have chosen to give up this explicit criterion in naming (but it was a factor in Chrysanthemum’s naming) to consider how well my partner’s diasporic Chinese family would be able to recognize and pronounce her name. Everybody could pronounce it, I’m sure.
- The Mount [name_m]Olympus[/name_m] imagery (oh yeah, we haven’t even gotten there yet): the mythology of the meeting place between the sky and the earth, the home of the gods and a meeting place of great power. A sacred, ancient mountain.
I don’t even think this is an exhaustive list of all the things I love about her. For months now I have been thinking THIS WILL BE ONE OF HER NAMES IF THE TIMING MATCHES UP. And it has. [name_f]My[/name_f] body and providence have cooperated with my wackiness.
[name_f]Petra[/name_f] [name_f]Olympias[/name_f] as a combo simply settled over time. Two-syllable, no-nonsense [name_f]Petra[/name_f] is obviously much shorter than her brothers’ first names (we say them as 4 and 5 syllables respectively), but there is something so steadfast about the name [name_f]Petra[/name_f] that we feel it stands up. I also like the reversal of long-short pattern to short-long and feel that it is just ever so refreshingly unexpected when I say all three firsts together. Its paucity also packs a punch that punctuates the finality of our last baby with an exclamation point!
The imagery of rock + olympiad also gives me the moon directly. The moon is the rock of the olympiad, floating in the sky, and my [name_f]Petra[/name_f] will forever be connected to this cycle.
P.Ol. hearkens to the various Pauls and Paulines littered across my family tree as well. Alongside our K surname, it gives us “Polka dot” as a potential petname.
[name_f]Petra[/name_f] [name_f]Olympias[/name_f] as a combo feels distinctly “metal ox” for her birth in this year of the metal ox. She is strong, stoic, and constant.
Lastly, I loved looking at the meaning of the firsts and middles across the sibset. She completes two ideas: “the hour of the resurrection stone” (firsts) and “the happy secret of the olympiad” (middles). This influenced the decision to go without a second middle, a possibility I’ve always entertained for a daughter as I have two middles myself. That decision against the second middle was made largely by secondguessing the lopsided imbalance it would have imposed across the sibset. The hour of the resurrection stone signals [name_u]Harry[/name_u] [name_m]Potter[/name_m], and the protection, unconditional love, and ultimately the courage that one can receive from those dear family and friends who have already departed the earth when comes “the close.” And “the happy secret of the olympiad” tells the story of these past 4 years, of our start in parenting, the liminality of my matrescence, and the marathon of my childbearing, now itself drawing to ‘a close.’
[name_f]My[/name_f] partner and I could not be more smitten with this name choice. Together we love both names equally, which became a deciding factor for me. As much as a namenerd parent wants to sneak in their own favorites, the name should be one we both love. And here we have just that!
[name_f]Welcome[/name_f] to the world, [name_f]Petra[/name_f] [name_f]Olympias[/name_f]!