A few years ago, I was sitting around thinking about our non-existent fourth child as I have done many times during the past few years.

I was trying to decide what the child’s name would be if he or she ever came to be part of our family. I had always liked the name Jade, but our last name is a four-letter, one syllable name, too, so that didn’t seem to flow.

“Jayda!” I thought.

It’s unique. It’s cool. And my daughter’s name has an AY in the middle, so the names would kind of go together.

I shared the news with my husband.

“If we ever have a fourth child and it’s a girl, her name will be Jayda.”

He thought it sounded good. And since he didn’t think there was any chance that we really would ever have a fourth child, it worked perfectly well for him. Case closed.

Many times over the past few years, we have talked about Jayda. Sometimes, it has been in a joking manner. Other times, my husband had the job of consoling me over the fact that she didn’t actually exist. He also was quick to remind me that IF we ever had another child, by some totally unforeseen series of events, that the child just MIGHT be a boy.

And I was fine with that. It wasn’t that I knew the child WOULD be a girl, but Jayda was just the code word we used to talk about our non-existent family member.

We have mentioned this name so many times, that when I say it now, I sometimes question if it’s even really a name.

It sort of falls in line with Janna, Kalixa, Julia and Jacob. Those are my daughter’s imaginary family members who are a part of our daily conversations, as well.

“Janna told me…” she is always quick to interject if she disagrees with whatever point someone is trying to make. “When I was at Julia’s house, that’s not what SHE did.”

A few weeks ago, when we were at my son’s karate testing, the sensai was calling off the names of each of the children who were about to compete. “Jayda!” he said, pointing to a tiny girl on the front row with a long black pony tail.

My husband and I both looked at each other. “Did he say, ‘Jayda’?!” We had never heard of anyone in real life with that name, other than the actress Jada Pinkett Smith. The sensai repeated the name, and we both stared at each other with wide eyes. “It’s Jayda! There she is!”

When it was time for the kids to start their kata, Jayda didn’t move.

As the sensai called out the numbers of the kata, the kids were supposed to do the corresponding moves. However, in class, they were told that they would have to perform the kata without hearing the numbers.

Because these kids were so young, they were only required to perform nine of the 21 moves. And I guess the sensai decided to make it really easy by shouting the numbers.

“Oh no! Jayda forgot her kata!” we said, watching her stand there lifelessly. “Come on… you can do it!”

The other kids were on about number four, when Jayda started to move. She flawlessly executed all 21 moves without stopping or making a mistake. It was as if no one else was even in the room. She did her whole kata perfectly.

“She did it!” we both shouted. “Way to go, Jayda!”

I was so proud of that little girl that tears were welling up in my eyes. Sweet Jayda.

I don’t know if we will really name our baby Jayda (if it’s a girl), but when I stumble upon one of those baby name finder sites, I always check for the popularity of Jayda, Jada, Jade, and the boy versions, Jadon, Jayden, Jaydan, etc. And then I look up the meaning.

They are all a variation of Jade, meaning a green stone.

But this week, one of those sites also gave the Hebrew meaning, which I thought was so cool: “He knew”.

Oh, yes. He did.

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