On Sunday, May 13th, 2012 our family welcomed into the world Von Steele Walter. He was a bit earlier than expected, but still weighed in at a healthy 7 pounds, 12 ounces and measured 21 inches long. Our growing family continues.
The past few days have been a whirlwind, and I’m sure the pace will only pick up. I wanted to write to you to let you know why we chose Von Steele as our first son’s name, because I feel the name you pick for your child is a huge decision and it wasn’t just a name that we thought sounded fun.
Von is usually used as a preposition in a full name and means “of” or “from,” typically to describe a geographic location or family lineage. I, for example, could be Jeremy von Lancaster. We liked the sound of “Vaughn” but the name means “little” or “small.” We pronounce Von the same way “John” sounds – or, for Lancaster residents, like Bon-Ton.
Steele is a Walter family name tracing up my late Grandmother’s family line. George Steele Wheatley was my great-grandfather, and he received his middle name as respect to my great-great-great grandfather, Joseph Steele, who lived in Vermont. Lydia’s family is from Johnstown, a notable city for its steel manufacturing back in the day, and many of her family members worked in the steel mills.
So – Von Steele. Of (or from) Steel(e). Double play on words encompassing both sides of our family.
Von also can be translated as “Hope” in Old Norse, which compliments Adrianna’s middle name of Faith.
[Full disclosure: we're also Pittsburgh sports fans, so having a middle name paying homage to the Steelers didn't exactly work against the choice of his name.]
It’s admittedly a little strange to see him at 3 days old – so vulnerable, so dependent, so delicate – with such a strong-sounding name. We love him, and we love the name.
I was a little worried our second child wouldn’t carry as much excitement and joy as Adrianna did when she arrived – but I was completely wrong. Our hearts aren’t split in love for Adrianna and Von – our hearts have simply expanded their capacity (even on minimal sleep).
So, Jack – join me in welcoming Von to the world. It’s another exciting stage in life, and one that I want to cherish and hold on to as long as I can.
Till next time, Jack,