August 13, 2009

What’s in a Name, Part 2

This isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about names and naming a child, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. This is a new angle (at least for me) on the whole naming thing, though. Just some random thoughts and unsolicited advice.

Basically, I’ve always found it a little odd when people don’t want to tell anyone the name(s) they’ve chosen for their baby. Why not? Afraid someone might steal it? I hate to break it to you, but unless you made up the name completely, you aren’t the first to name your child that and you certainly won’t be the last. At least this is how I’ve thought about it in the past.

Or maybe you’re afraid people won’t like the name. Until recently, I didn’t get that either. I mean come on, if someone doesn’t like the name, who cares? Obviously you like it or you wouldn’t have chosen it. Names are personal and very subjective—not everyone’s going to like the name you chose. If you like it, that’s all that matters. (As long as you aren’t naming the kid after a type of fruit or a motorized vehicle. But hey, that’s just my opinion.)

Now that my husband and I have been discussing names—in the hopes of having a little one, one of these days—I finally get it.

For some reason, people feel at liberty to tell you exactly how they feel about a name when you’re just trying it on for size. Whereas, if you tell people the name you’ve chosen after the baby is born, they’ll likely not say anything negative. This won’t stop them from saying it behind your back, to your friends or family, but at least you won’t have to hear it.

There’s a certain comfort, if that’s the right word, in being shielded from people’s true feelings on a name you’ve chosen. The last thing you want to deal with as a new parent is worrying that you’ve somehow done your child a disservice by bestowing upon him/her a name your mother’s best friend’s sister doesn’t like. Really.

To all the parents and soon-to-be-parents: Pick a name and be proud. Share it confidently and don’t ask for anyone’s opinion or seek approval.

To friends and family: Bite your tongue when a friend or family member shares a chosen name with you that you don’t like. Just be thankful no one’s going to call you by that name.

I’ll leave you with this very profound English proverb:

“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”


Mommy-in-Waiting said...

We told everyone the name we picked out for our first adoption case. When that case fell through, the name was 'tainted' with sadness for everyone and linked to a little girl that wasn't meant to be ours. Now we don't discuss names with anyone so we don't lose another good one.

Kelly T said...

We didn't share the name because we wanted it, as well as the sex, to be a surprise. And honestly, we wanted to meet our baby before assigning a name. We tried out all the names we liked on her before it became evident that she could be nothing else. By keeping it to ourselves, it was a personal surprise!

Lauran said...

Hi there! I just discovered your blog . . . I'm not sure if you're still posting on it -- I hope so! We have a lot in common. My husband and I have a son who is black (we are white) . . . did you ever adopt a second? If you ever get this in blogosphere, please let me know! -- Lauran

A K Drew said...

Hello All - Thank you for your wonderful comments and nice thoughts! I am still posting, but have been a slacker lately because we finally brought home number 2!! Our son came home on August 30and I will be posting soon about it. :)