Okay, I am a middle child (the middle of three! No ifs, ands or buts about my place in the family), and I never felt like a middle child. I actually have the most baby photos of my siblings, ha! Of course, that is most likely because I am the only one born in the states where it is was easy for my parents to develop photos unlike the developing world in which my brother and sister were born. Anyway, I know that just because you are the middle child doesn't mean that you will battle middle child syndrome, and it seems that Conor is most likely going to be considered an older child in God's plan for our family. Nevertheless, I need to type out a little "behind the name" post before this new baby arrives because currently the oldest child has one, the youngest child has one and the middle child is tallying nothing!
If I go back and search through our email archives (I'll keep the exact date a secret), our earliest name discussions listed Ryan Donald as our first boy and Connor Daniel as our second boy. From the start and totally unplanned, we leaned toward Irish names for boys and French names for girls. Even before we knew what the name Conor meant, we loved it, and once I looked up the meaning of the name, there was no going back. Conor is an Irish name meaning, "wolf lover," or "dog lover." Most people would think, "Oh cool! That's cute. That's tough." For Chris, it is was like a divine sign. I don't think I've met anyone who is not a professional animal expert (veterinarian, professor or someone like that) who knows as much about animals as Chris. And when it comes to wolves ... wow. When we were at Yellowstone National Park, we got up at 4:30am two days in a row (we were only there for two days) just because that was the best time we could possibly see wolves. We never saw a wolf, but we did see a coyote and the beaming look he gave it rivaled the one he gives our children (he's seen a coyote before plenty of times, but I guess there was something special about seeing one at Yellowstone). Anyway, Conor sounded like a perfect second-born boy name to us, and its meaning had us sold.
We like to add some family meaning to our middle names. Ryan's middle name, Donald, pays homage to my dad (it's his middle name, too) so it was fitting that we chose Daniel, my father-in-law's name, for Conor's middle name. Connor Daniel, we were set ... except for the spelling. I had only ever really seen the name spelled "Connor," and I thought that was the correct spelling. However, it turns out that Connor with two n's is how the last name is spelled in Ireland, and the first name is spelled Conor. News to me! I still leaned toward the Connor spelling, but I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that Chris is part melancholic and so things must be done the CORRECT way ;) (most of the time ... he is married to phlegmatic me after all :) ).
As for saintly connections, there are a bunch of Sts. Daniel and the prophet Daniel obviously has a wonderful story of strength and courage. Those connections covered our ever-so-stringent "must be one saint, we don't really care if we know anything about them," criterion of old. I wasn't a Sancta Nomina addict yet. When the day came for Conor's baptism, our priest friend that was celebrating the baptism opened his homily with, "Well I'm sure you already know of Blessed Conor O'Devany," and Chris and I sheepishly smiled because nope! We did not know anything about him. Upon further research, Blessed Conor O'Devany was a Catholic martyr in Ireland, and the anniversary of his consecration as a bishop is February 2nd. Chris and I first met on February 2nd.
Conor's name may be the last of our three out of the womb that I wrote about, but the timing is perfect because at almost four years of age, we can really and truly see exactly how much his name suits him. He loves dogs and wolves (heavily influenced by his dad, of course, but he is also naturally drawn to them unlike Elise). Furthermore, his ferocious outlook on life lines up with someone with a name of wolf lover. However, my favorite part that made me laugh to Chris recently was the meaning of his middle name. We didn't really care about the meaning when we named him because like I said, it's Chris' dad's name so we were going to use it regardless. For some reason, I looked up the meaning of the name, Daniel, a few weeks ago and it means, "God is my judge." Chris and I could not stop laughing. "God is my judge," is pretty much Conor's unofficial motto in life. He definitely doesn't see his parents as his judge, and I'd hesitate to say that you would ever meet a more stubborn, headstrong, obstinate, charming and sweet boy. Lord, thank you for our boy, Conor Daniel.