Monday, February 23, 2015

What's in a Name?

Shaun and I wisely chose our children's names while we were engaged. We chose two boy names and two girl names, and decided we would agree on the first boy's name when we looked at him. We had a specific order for the girl names. Then William was born, and it took another two and a half years for us to get pregnant again. Everything changed.

One boy name is incredibly significant for Shaun, the other is significant to me. Since Shaun already buried his first son, I agreed he could choose our first surviving boy's name. Something special happened this year, and I really wanted to change the girl's name, but I think we're going to keep it. Unless we look at her and she doesn't match her name. All this will make so much more sense when we reveal the name of the baby. I'm thankful we have the names chosen, because my hormones are crazy right now and I'm loving names that are really obscure. Anyone who knows me knows that's not who I am. I'm convinced that's where we get the really wild names that raise eyebrows. I don't have to specify any, some have already come to your mind. Some people really like the strange ones, and that's fine. They just aren't for us.

Working with kids has advantages in this area, too. Any teacher will tell you there are some names parents should NEVER use. Some names just always seem to be linked to the 'terrors'. There are other names attached to kids who are exceptionally bright or cute, and those are okay. There are also exceptions to every rule, but when naming a child, definitely talk with as many teachers as possible, especially if you don't plan on homeschooling. Another thing we considered: How easy is this name to spell? As a general rule, the easier it is to spell the easier it will be for your child to memorize and write it. We both have strange spellings, and it gets frustrating never finding your name on a Christmas ornament or in a gift shop. Yes, it makes personalized gifts all the more special, but it causes far more frustration than appreciation. Plus we have to spell our names every time we sign up for or discontinue any service.

Now for the dilemma: I now prefer a different middle name for our first boy. Circumstances have changed since we chose our names, and I really want to use a middle name that is more significant to me. The problem is, we both know someone else with that name as a first name, and Shaun doesn't want our child to be 'named after' him. I can't shorten the name or do anything to make it not like the other person's name. The whole reason we chose our names early was so we wouldn't run into this problem, and here I am, stirring up trouble. Boy names weren't ever that important to me; I had one first name I wanted to use, but other than that I don't really care. As long as it's easy to pronounce and will work for a little boy or an adult, I was open to just about anything. This is one reason why we're not sharing our names until the baby is born; we want the flexibility to change at any moment. We never planned on changing, but we have the freedom to do so if we wish. Which will we go with? You'll have to meet him to find out.

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