I worked hard on finding a name for my son, but Caleb was pretty much predetermined.
I read a book called “Searching for Caleb” by Anne Tyler when I was in my 20’s. At that time, I did not ever think I would have a child, but as soon as I read this book, I thought, “If I have a son, his name will be Caleb.”
Then in my 30’s when I was pregnant, I knew what his name would be: Caleb. Whew! One big decision was off my list!
This caused an uproar in many people. I got all kinds of push back.
- “Caleb is a Jewish name.” (No. It is a biblical name.)
- “Caleb is the name of one of my gay friends.” (So what?)
- “Caleb sounds like Caitlin.” (What???)
- “You can’t call him Caleb.” (Just for no reason?)
But I bowed to pressure. I went back to the drawing board and read a few baby books with boy’s names. I could not find another one I liked.
Caleb is defined as “bold and doglike” in those books. I was afraid of dogs at this point in my life, but still I was not deterred. Caleb was the name of my son in my dreams.
I went to the Old Testament where Caleb appears as a scout with Joshua. They go to a place overlooking scary giants and decide they can beat them.
I could not get the name of Caleb out of my mind.
I decided to wait until he was born and see what I thought. I did not even know if he would be a boy until he was born, so maybe it wouldn’t come up.
But he was a boy, and as soon as I saw him, I knew he was Caleb, and have never had any regrets with his name.
He was always a brave kid, and such a loyal friend.
Now my son has ptsd for many reasons and is scared of everything. He can’t sleep, and wakes up from horrible nightmares when he does. My son will do anything he can not to fall asleep.
When this started happening in middle school, I did not know what to do. I did not realize he was suffering from ptsd and would not have known how to treat it if I did.
Now I know from research that the most successful course for treating ptsd is learning strategies for pushing back the fear, and finding other people who suffer too so you have support. My prayer is that my son succeeds and can go back to being the bold person he started out being.
I want my son to beat his giants, and I know he can do it.
This post is inspired by my son Caleb and the powerful sermon I heard in church this week. I will have more to say about that in future posts, and this is Part One.