Aurora lights up local JBER family


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Lori Spears with her husband, US Army Capt. Charles Spears, and children Xavier, Austin and Clara, before the arrival of their new family member.

PHOTO BY ERIC ESTRADA

On March 24, I got my favorite Alaskan souvenir. Miss Aurora Spears was born.

Similar to other military families we have a child for every state we have lived in for at least 12 months. After three kids we were not planning on continuing the trend, but then we moved to Alaska. I’m not sure what changed my mind. Maybe with four years since the birth of my youngest my reasons for wanting to stop with her were getting hazy. Was it that nearly every woman I knew was having a baby? Could it have been that, in Alaska, three or four children seem more normal than elsewhere? Perhaps it was the desire to be able to use a cool Alaska themed name. Whatever the reason, my family decided that we would go for a “made in Alaska” baby.

When we first married I thought Aurora would be a great name for a little girl. My husband thought it a bit too Disney. So we moved onto other names.

After seeing the Northern Lights in person, the name Aurora came back to mind. It no longer seemed so “Disney.” It seemed Alaskan. Plus, with our oldest named after Marvel’s Professor X, “too Disney” did not matter as much. I just needed another child to name.

I told my husband that I was thinking about having another baby. His initial reaction was shock and wondering about my mental health. It hadn’t been that long since I was pledging my determination that three was enough. It wasn’t long after telling him that I was serious and even had the perfect name if we were to have another girl that he got on board. He even provided the Alaskan name for a boy: Laurence, as in Sidney Laurence, my favorite painter after moving to Alaska and seeing his work.

We told the kids about their new sibling as soon as we found out we were expecting. All three were excited. Xavier revealed that he had even been praying for a little brother or sister for over a year. Clara told us that being a big sister was just what she had always wanted. Austin was just happy that there would soon be somebody else to love.

We all waited with great anticipation to see if we were having a boy or girl. The children were all voting for a girl. At least until the oldest found out that he might get his own room eventually if we had three boys. Everyone was well pleased when the ultrasound revealed that we were indeed getting a girl, even if it meant that no one would be getting a room to himself.

Now that she is finally here, she is living up to her princess-y persona. She has three devoted servants who are happy to attend to her every need. Their only complaint is that, as a newborn, she doesn’t need much. Sleeping Beauty sleeps most of the time.

As I enjoy the light my new daughter is bringing to my life, I am so glad that no matter what the reason, Alaska changed my mind.

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