When I was 19 years old and determined to become an actress (snort), I decided that my last name would not cut it. It was too “ethnic” and hard to pronounce. I was looking for a really cool stage name.
I was sitting in my best friend’s car and the name Soleil popped into my head out of nowhere. ‘Maya Soleil’ would be a perfect stage name I thought to myself. I gravitated toward Soleil ( which means sun in french).
Since as we all know that I am not a big time Hollywood actress (yet!)… I never used that stage name, but I did always keep the name Soleil in my mind.
I said that if I were to ever have a daughter, that would be her name.
Most of my friends thought I was crazy when at 19, I professed that Soleil would be my daughters name.
But I knew.
When I was pregnant with twins, I secretly hoped that one of them would be a girl.. if not both. Soleil needed to be named.
My husband hated the name. He was not having it. Plus, if you substitute the L with an N, it means hate in Hebrew (pronounced Sonay). I didn’t care. I told him he could name the other twin, but Soleil was going to be my daughter’s name. Needless to say, he didnt name Neve.
People often asked me how I knew which twin would be named what. I just knew. I knew my second born would be Soleil.
She came into this world, as Baby B and was the bigger of the two weighing in at a whopping 3.10 pounds. Yes- 3.10lbs.
Even though she was the larger baby, she had the most health problems right off the bat. She needed to be incubated, she would often stop breathing during feedings in the NICU, she had a hole in the valve of her heart that took longer to clear, she had ROP in her right eye, she stayed in the NICU two weeks longer than her older sister (6 Full weeks).
When they were born I called my mothers cousin in Israel (who is a HUGE Rabbi) and gave him the names I was to give to my girls. They have a process of taking the child’s name and their mothers name and getting a number from that. That number leads them to a certain passage in the Zohar and it tells them what kind of life that child will have if they were to be given that name.
Sometimes my cousin will tell people that the child’s name is not good for them, and often times sick children need to have their names changed (or add a name) in order to improve their health (MANY documented cases that I know of). Neve was given a check plus, but the name Soleil wasn’t. He said I could name her Soleil, but would need to change the spelling in Hebrew.
He said that the name would give her a rough start in life, but would be ok once she was out of the woods.
I contemplated changing her name… but couldn’t.
I knew that she was Soleil.
Soleil was a super colicky baby. She ALWAYS cried.
*Or maybe she was just pissed off by the hats we put on her?*
I didn’t know it then, but she was just really gassy! Nothing that I could do would soothe her.
She just needed to be held extra long and physically and mentally I just couldn’t do it. It was two babies to one mommy.
My husband would often walk around with her- up and down the hallway- to calm her. It did. I believe that this is what solidified their bond since she LOVES and ADORE him. He is her EVERYTHING.
We thought for sure she would be our outspoken twin, and Neve would be the quiet one. Boy did that change when her stomach calmed down.
Soleil is my sunshine girl, always smiling always calm. She soothes herself by sucking her thumb.
(I totally sucked my thumb from birth to 7 years old. I totally get it)
Sometimes I look at her and her resemblance to me freaks me out. I mean, side by side- this girl looks 95% like I did at her age.
I just had a bigger head.
And even though Soleil is more attached to her daddy than me, I’m OK with that. I know that she loves me and knows that I’m her mommy. When I go to work and she sees my shoes on the floor- she points to them and says “Mama”.
When she sees other children she goes up to them and tries to hug and kiss them (even though she may get the occasional slap to the head by her sister for doing so)
She loves Elmo and Sesame Street and every time the Sesame Street Theme song comes on (or any other song for that matter) she starts dancing.
I always knew I wanted to name my daughter Soleil and that it was a special name.
What I never knew was just how special my little sunshine girl would be.