Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm Okay with E. T.

For years, I would think about E.T. and want to cry. The particular scenes that were forever burned into my mind were Elliott's first encounter with the lost little alien (in a cornfield of all places) and then Drew Barrymore and E.T. screaming at each other.

The eyes widening. The neck moving up and down. And let's not forget E.T.'s terrifying scream. It was just too much for a little kid to take in. Even watching the first video (which, please notice, has not been altered by CGI unlike the second one) gave me a mild panic attack when I dared to watch it a few minutes ago.

 I remember my grandfather giving my sister and I matching E.T. dolls. The doll was supposed to be cute and cuddly. All I could think of was E.T. screaming. I conveniently left the doll at my grandparents' house. It's probably still there.
When we were at Universal Studios a couple of weeks ago, we saw the larger version of the stuff toy.
Because of my less than favorable memories associated with the film, I refused to watch the movie again for at least a decade. What could change? How would it benefit me? I somehow gathered my nerve (and strength) and watch the remastered CGI version. Somehow, E.T. was slightly cute because he was no longer real looking. The computer animation kind of ruined the authenticity of the film, but allowed me to feel like E.T. really wasn't an actual alien who would come into my house if I left Reese Piece's outside.

I watched and was moved to tears the second time--the "this-movie-is-so-moving-and-amazing" kind of tears. I loved it. Even so, I never expected to name a son Elliott.

When we found out I was pregnant a second time, I immediately knew the name of our future child. A daughter would be Hazel and a son would be Ezra.

But then there were two boys.

At first, I thought we would use our second boy name, Bennett. However, it just didn't feel right. I knew Baby A would be Ezra, but Baby B lacked a definitive name (Ezra would actually end up becoming Baby B after the boys did some acrobatics in utero). For weeks, we struggled with what to call him.

Sometime in July, I woke up with the name "Elliott" on my mind. I went through the list of Elliott's that I knew: T.S. Eliot, Elliott Smith, Elliott Stabler (Law and Order), and then there was El-li-ott from E.T.

That kind of ruined it. I worried about him being teased, but then decided it wouldn't really be an issue. Kids these days don't watch classic movies from the 80s, right? My close friends assured me that the name was wonderful and encouraged me to stick with my instincts. I finally felt peace about the decision (naming children is a huge deal) and decided I would celebrate the occasion by watching E.T. again sometime before the boys were born.

On November 27th, I went to bed with my usual aches and asked Nathan what Netflix movie we had sitting around; it was E.T. We watched the movie, cried together because it really is so good, and I fell asleep. I love that Elliott and Ezra were born less than 10 hours later.

Nearly every day, I find myself telling Nathan (or muttering it to myself): "I can't believe we have two babies, but I can't imagine only having one." I am so glad there was a second baby to name. I am so glad we have Ezra and Elliott.

As for this generation not making any "El-li-ott jokes", I think I underestimated the youth of America. When the babies were just a few days old, my in-laws went to visit my nieces and nephews in Portland. My father-in-law, Rex, told my nine-year-old nephew, Mason, that Ezra's nickname was "E-Z" because he was such an "easy" baby. Mason looked at Rex and said matter-of-factly, "Well, can Elliott be E-T then?"

So, without further ado, here is Elliott celebrating his name by wearing a red hoodie like his namesake (not really his namesake, but name-sharer, I should say).

No, this was not planned. I couldn't stop laughing when I noticed the similarities, though.

I must admit that it feels kind of wrong to devote a whole post to only one of the twins, but I think Ezra will understand. We love him (and his name) just as much as his brother.


  1. This is awesome. I had a similar experience with The Little Mermaid. I watched it when I was too young, and Ursula gave me a terrible nightmare that I can still remember, and a completely irrational fear of octopuses. To this day I can't watch it. I tried once a few years ago. (I thought, I'm in college, I can handle this, right?) Nope. I started getting all panicky and anxious and had to stop.

    Thank goodness there are no names from that movie that I even remotely like enough to name one of my future children.

  2. your Elliott is much cuter than the original :)

  3. I love little Elliot. And that hoodie only solidifies it even more. :)

  4. TRAITOR. I can't believe you have been taken in by Steven Spielberg's lies.

  5. I think it's good to devote posts to Ezra and Elliott separately. When they are older they will appreciate it.

  6. I wish I could find the original movie. I HATE the CGI. And I love Elliot and E.T.
    But especially YOUR Elliot and Ezra.
    I loved this post.

    Oh, and congrats on getting Eliza off the bottle! Your husband is a GENIUS.

  7. I am dealthy afraid of ET. Nick keeps trying to make me watch it and i refuse!!! Too scary!


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