Friday, February 24, 2012

What's In a Name?

So my due date is nearing, which is exciting but also a little scary. We've got plenty of clothes and anything left to do really won't take all that long. And we've both agreed we're definitely more mentally prepared for what to expect this time around, though it's been long enough since Gareth's infant days that how much I hate some of the early stuff will likely be a shock to remember, despite what I feel are very clear memories of how awful the newborn stage is. Probably the biggest thing left on my mental "to-do" list is to get our taxes done. (I will be thrilled next year to only have federal taxes to do; hooray for not state income taxes in WA!) Of course, I'm also probably forgetting a million things that we could be doing to prepare, but I'm pretty certain we've got most of the big things covered. Except for a name.

Now, we struggled with Gareth's name. It's a lot of pressure to come up with what your kid will be called for the rest of their life (unless they really hate it and opt to change it when they turn 18). Gareth is his name because in the end it's really the only thing we came up with that we both liked just fine, and we just sort of settled into it. We had absolutely no other names on the list. Okay, that's not entirely true, but none of them were serious considerations last time around. And they all got erased off of the list this time around for various reasons, usually because they're far too popular. We looked at the top 500 boys names the other day and it was discouraging to realize that there are really only 50 or so boys names and people just change the spelling (Jonathon, Johnathan, Johnathan, etc.) or use just the nickname (Tony rather than Anthony) or a version in a different language (Matteo rather than Matthew). The other problem we've run into is that Ryan works in a currently male-dominated field. Half the names I'd pulled out are names of managers at old jobs, or names of people on his team at his current job, or even names of tools they use at his current job. I told him he needs to switch to a female-dominated profession. And don't even mention a middle name. Last time around we just unthinkingly followed some family tradition and didn't have to come up with a middle name on our own that way. I'm still hoping that a middle name will come somewhat easily once we decide on a first name. But I'm starting to think this baby will be lucky if it has a name at all.


Myrna said...

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

It's hard isn't it? Good luck with finding the name that feels right for this baby!

Alanna said...

I agree that picking a name is hard, but especially for a boy. Any "new" names that come along are instantly too popular (thing Caden and Jace, and- who am I kidding-- Bentley is climbing the charts, too). Anything old is either kind of boring (John) or has been turned into a girl's name (Taylor). And I HATE creative spellings!

The funny thing with our kids was that we picked out names, and then said that once the baby was born, if they didn't "look" like that name, we had the right to change our minds. But with Bentley and Kendra, they just looked like red, blobby babies! Nothing "looked" like them at all! So we reluctantly called them the names we'd picked out and hoped they'd grow into it. Which they did. But with Ryder, we were all set to name him Dexter (and hope not too many people would associate the name with the TV show). But then when he was born, he didn't look like a Dexter at all! Ryder was a name we'd briefly considered but rejected, but once we saw him, he totally looked like a Ryder to us. Weird, huh?

I am so curious to see how you react to this baby once he comes. I've already told you that I had a MUCH easier time with Kendra than I had with Bentley, so I'm really hoping the same will be true for you! But I feel like you're prepared for anything, so that's probably the key thing!

Erin said...

Alanna, Ryan would totally agree with you. Most babies look a lot the same when they're first born. We said the same thing with Gareth and when he came out it was like, "yeah, sure, I guess he can look like a Gareth if we want". And, yes, I'm hoping that, like you, this time around is easier.

Myrna said...

What our friend Kim wrote on her blog about naming her baby girl:

Baby VanderHorst went through several names her first two days in the world. Elsie, Abbigail, Anne, Sarah, Amelia, Ellie, and Anna. We tried them all on, dismissed some quickly, kept others for hours. But it wasn’t until we tried calling her Grace and Gracie, that everything slid into place. And I learned that you don’t have to have a name for someone to love them, but that it helps. Focuses the love like a sunbeam through a piece of glass – intensifies it somehow. There really IS something in a name, I think.