Names are important. Buildings, dogs, and really big storms have them. And as a person, you kind of need one so people can call you something. You can’t go a whole lifetime with people saying, “Hey you!”
Who didn’t fill up a Mead notebook or stacks of loose-leaf paper practicing writing the name of your first love? Over and over. And then when you were sure it was true love, you wrote your first name with his last. It just flowed.
That’s sort of the same excitement you have when you think of names for your baby. Names for girls. Names for boys. First. Middle. Last. You want to get the name right, but just the same you want a name that fits your kid. Therein lies the problem: You haven’t met your kid yet. You can ooh and ahh over those ultrasound pictures all you want, but they don’t give you a clue about your child’s personality. At best you can find out if he’s a thumb sucker. What kind of name goes with that? So you muddle through trying to figure out if William is going to work or should you go with Brandon instead? Maybe you’ll name your daughter Isabella, but call her Bella for short.
When I was pregnant, I thought the name Malcolm was good. Didn’t even make it to the top 10 list because it reminded my husband of Malcolm Jamaal Warner from The Cosby Show. So? He was a successful child actor.
Reese was great. Well, at least until it wasn’t. Suddenly little baby Reese’s started popping up everywhere.
Niles sounded nice. Problem there? My husband met a rather naughty boy with that name. Plus, that was the name of the brother from the TV show Frasier. Suddenly, “Hey you” was sounding pretty good!
Somehow we settled on Miles for our oldest son. So did a lot of people that year. That’s like buying a car and feeling kinda cool because you think you’re the only one with that car. Then everywhere you go, you see the same minivan you have. Sure, you might see different colors, but it’s the same van!
When I was pregnant with our younger son, my husband and I couldn’t settle on another “M” name for our youngest, so we made up a name: Maxon. Ninety percent of people get it wrong, so he goes by Max for short. To date there are five other Max’s at his school. Sadly for him it’s one of the most popular dog names. If we open the door and call out, “Max!” half a dozen kids and two dogs might show up. I’m pretty sure that might be why he said he’s changing his name when he turns 18.
And perhaps this might be the worst comparison, but you know how puppies grow into their paws? Kids, will grow into their names. Come to think of it, they’ll do some amazing things for treats too.
Seriously, have fun choosing your baby’s name. But this time, maybe keep the name of your first crush of the list. Unless of course he’s your baby’s father. Parenthood is awkward enough.