Bringer of Great Joy

I have told stories about boys for three days now–a boy who filled my heart, a boy who fills the world with art, a boy who left an empty place when he left.  Today, let’s talk about a vivacious pair of girls!  

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated this week.  She is now styled Princess Beatrix and her son rules as King Willem-Alexander.  He is the first Dutch king in over a century and will be succeeded by his daughter…let’s hear it for the girls!

The first trip I ever took overseas with my late husband, Richard, was to the Netherlands.  I read everything I could find about the country before we went.  He laughed at me for buying a Dutch phrase book then forwarded me a news story that reported Dutch high school students have a broader English vocabulary than American high school students.  Ah.  I turned to less educational and more atmospheric reading about this tiny country.  Bill Bryson, one of the most entertaining travel writers in the history of passports, tells a story about the great love the Dutch felt for their Queen Bea.  It was her habit to walk freely around the city, running errands and greeting her fellow citizens.  When Bryson heard this, he remarked, “But who protects her?”  His Dutch friend laughed at the silly question and replied, “We all do!”

Our Vivi’s middle name is “Beatriz,” the Portuguese spelling of Beatrix or Beatrice.  I’ve always loved the name, ever since reading about Petrarch’s sonnets to his love, Beatrice.  G and I had already picked the first name and were tossing around ideas for a middle name when I rediscovered Beatrice.  It was a done deal once I heard him pronounce it “BAY-ah-treez.”  The name means “bringer of great joy” and never was a name more aptly applied to a little girl.  Her first name means “vibrant and full of life.”  Yes.  Yes she is.

She is naturally VIVACIOUS

vivi model

Often times AUDACIOUS

vivi dozer

Even sometimes VEXATIOUS

vivi tongue

She’s got a streak of RAMBUNCTIOUS

howl at the moon

And a double dose of LOQUACIOUS

vivi note to g

Even at five, she is SAGACIOUS

vivi geode

And just a touch PUGNACIOUS

vivi wreck

Oh my gracious, I love her so.

vivi asleep

9 thoughts on “Bringer of Great Joy

  1. Chris

    Most of all I love the pictures, Ashley. What a delightful little girl, Vivi is! I wrote this about mine about ten years ago, and you’ve made me brave enough to put it here.

    A lovely little song bird found a place in my arms,
    then slipped away to sit beside me for a while.
    She sang to me chronicles of happiness and Cinderella dreams.
    She sang of white horses, bright tiaras, and pink turreted castles.
    And when her song gave up its final note, she lifted gossamer wings
    and flew away to her appointment in the forest of lost hatchlings.
    Her songs became sighs as she disappeared through whispering branches,,
    Now the fading sunlight shows her halo on a lonely pine.

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