Title: What's In A Name?
Spoilers: #5.14, Beat Your Heart Out
Summary: Callie contemplates babies, foliage, and just what exactly is in a name.
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When they had still been married - before George had been sleeping with Izzie, and Callie had been sorta-maybe-kinda seeing leaves - her ex-husband had confessed something to her. Whenever a day began to drag on that bit too long - when too many patients began slipping away without permission, and too many relatives found themselves stumbling bewildered into the rest of forever with fractures so seismic not even Seattle Grace’s finest orthopaedic team could touch them - George watched babies. He took ten minutes out of his day, made his way down to the maternity ward, and he watched the babies.
Callie understood the logic, as odd an admission as it was. Babies were… new. They were untouched, unharmed, free from worry. Babies didn’t lose sleep over whether their husbands were sleeping with Izzie Stevens. They didn’t have to fret about unfortunate stubble burn from Mark Sloan. And they certainly didn’t have to contend with Erica Hahn and her glasses and leaf-seeing quandaries. In fact, babies were free from the whole spectrum of foliage problems entirely.
But Callie couldn’t find the same therapy in babies. They were cute, sure. She’d even go so far as to say that she definitely wanted one of her own, some day. But other people’s babies… they just didn’t work for her the way they did for George. Other people’s babies meant rows over feeding schedules. Fighting over Harvard or Yale. Pocket money, curfews, detentions… names. Callie had an inkling that there was some magic trick to baby names that no one had let her in on, and that she wouldn’t be fit to have one of her own until she figured it out. How anyone could look at a half-day old, red-faced, wrinkled approximation of a tiny human being and decide yes, this is a Cynthia, or a Jodie, or a teeny little Tonya was utterly beyond her.
Calliope. Beautiful voice. All modesty aside, Mama Torres had been onto something frighteningly prophetic there. But then, Mama Torres was omniscient and all knowing. She could scent out thunder storms from three days away and had an uncanny knack of just knowing when her daughter was up to no good. Callie hoped her mother remained ignorant to her plethora of foliage-based problems, but there was never any guarantee.
George. Farmer. Georges were… they were hard working. Georges put in the hours, and never tried to grab the glory for themselves. Georges were sensible, level headed, and dedicated to a fault. But Georges were also supposed to be dependable, reliable, honest. The O’Malleys had been halfway right, at least.
Erica. Honourable ruler. The Hahns had definitely been on the money, there. Erica was undoubtedly a born leader. Callie imagined she had commandeered the crèche within a few hours of birth and ruled her pre-school class with an iron fist. She knew how much it had dented her pride to emerge from her formative years second best to Burke, and she knew how deeply her principles ran. Erica had found out about Izzie and the LVAD hijinks, and there had been no reconciling herself to that. There had been right, and there had been wrong, and she had denied Callie her shades of grey and slotted her firmly into the latter category. The knowledge of her dismissal still cut her to the quick.
As for Arizona, well. Callie couldn’t even begin to fathom what had possessed the Robbins parents to smile down at their brand new bundle of joy and decide let’s name her after the forty-eighth state! Arizona was a completely unknown quantity in that sense, and the more Callie considered it, the more she wanted to know. If Georges were hard working and Ericas were leaders, then Arizonas… Arizonas traversed hospital corridors in Heelys and kissed strangers in bathrooms. They defied definition.
Callie thought that Arizona might just be a detour she wanted to take.