The “J” Family’s Problem

by Vicki H. Budge

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    Mr. and Mrs. Jim Jones and their children (more commonly known as the “J” family) had a problem. Mrs. Jones, whose name was Judy, had recently given birth to a baby girl.

    The “J” family thought their baby girl was extra sweet and extra special.

    “She’s such a pleasant baby,” Mrs. Jones said.

    “She’s already kind and thoughtful,” said Mr. Jones. “She hardly cries at all during the night.”

    The children liked the two big dimples in her cheeks. “They help to make her extra darling too,” they all agreed.

    The “J” family’s problem was what to name their baby. The children—whose names were Jody, Jeffrey, Julienne, and Jason—thought such a special baby should have a special name. And, of course, it had to start with “J”.

    Grandma Jones was staying with the “J” family to help take care of Mrs. Jones and the new baby.

    “Why don’t you get a book of babies names from the library,” she suggested. “It will give the meaning of each name so you can choose one that will be just right.”

    “What a wonderful suggestion,” exclaimed Mr. Jones. “I’ll bring one of those books home tonight!”

    That evening after dinner the whole family gathered to look at the book. There were hundreds and hundreds of names for a baby girl, but the “J” family looked only at names that started with “J”.

    “Look,” said Jody. “The name Janet means the gracious gift of God. I think Janet would be a nice name for our baby.”

    “How about Jessica,” said Jeffrey. “It means the rich one.

    Father laughed. “I don’t think our baby will be rich with money and jewels. I’ll tell you what I like. I like Jennifer—it means friend of peace.

    “I agree with Father that our baby probably won’t have jewels,” said Mother, “but I like the name Jewel. It means a precious one, and I think Jewel is a good name for our precious baby.”

    “But I like the name Joy,” said Julienne. “It makes me happy just to say the name!”

    “Well, I know the very best name,” said Jason. “Jill means sweetheart, and that’s what I think we should call our baby.”

    “Oh, dear,” said Mother. “This isn’t going to be easy. How can we ever choose a name when everyone likes a different one?”

    Grandma Jones hadn’t said a word. She left the decision up to the family and quietly disappeared into the kitchen.

    “Come and help us, Grandma,” said Jeffrey. “We can’t decide on a name.”

    Grandma came back carrying a tray of homemade cookies. “I baked these,” she said with a smile. “I thought you might need a little refreshment.”

    “You were right,” agreed Mother. “We were beginning to get confused, but somehow these cookies will really help.”

    “They’ve helped me,” added Jason as he put another cookie in his mouth.

    “Josephine, June, Joyce, Jane,” said Father as he read over more names. “Which one should we choose?”

    “I know,” exclaimed Julienne! “Jane is Grandma’s name. Let’s name our baby Jane.”

    “That’s a great idea,” said Jody. “Let’s name the baby after Grandma.”

    “Of course,” said Mother. “We wanted a name that meant something special, and Jane is perfect.”

    “It’s a terrific idea!” added Father. “Grandma is always so kind and thoughtful; I’d like our baby to grow up to be just like her. Do you all agree?”

    “We all agree!” everyone exclaimed.

    “Oh, my,” said Grandma smiling in her gentle way.

    “Look!” exclaimed Jason. “Grandma has two big dimples just like baby Jane!”

    Illustrated by Lynn Titleman