No joke, one of the first things that I started worrying about after getting pregnant was names.
I Hate Your Kids’ Names (I originally wanted to use that for this post title, but didn’t want to outright insult anyone.)
I hate most names. Either they’re just stupid (Axel! Nevaeh!), or trendy (Brayden and all its rhymes; Jackson; Madison), or kriaytyve (Braidynne, Madissyn, Jaxson).
I occasionally visit the Babycenter.com message boards, and once spent a few hours trawling through the name boards. One mother proudly proclaimed her baby’s future name: Paityn. Pages and pages of other posters saying, basically, NO, that is a stupid name, don’t do it! And every once in a while, the original poster would pop in and say things like, It’s my baby, I’ll name her whatever I want to, you’re just jealous, I really like the name, etc etc etc. That post and even all the other ones, with their names that are So Precious and So Unique That All Sound the Same….I just can’t roll my eyes hard enough.
I told you I’m a hater.
The worst thing is that I’d bring this up to people who asked if we had names. I would sigh helplessly, ‘No, because I hate all the names.’ And every.single.time, they would proceed to begin rattling off names. Depending on how close I am to them, I would vary my responses from a headshake to a polite ‘no’ to an eyeroll to an emphatic ‘UGH’.
The other major problem is that I’ve taught about 500 kids. Which means that any name from that pool is going to conjure up memories–mostly bad ones, for boy names.
Plus one has to cross off names of former peers, colleagues/coworkers, family members, and babies/children of people you know well.
Thankfully Andy didn’t have any names he loved already–you can figure out that I sure didn’t. Neither of us have traditional names to choose from (his dad’s family had a tradition, but it’s a terrible name that has now ended its reign, thank goodness), neither of us has a culture that might be a good inspiration. Neither of us has any favorite author/artist/literary character that would make a good name. Neither of us is religious, so the traditional Bible names aren’t meaningful for us.
I made sure to bring a baby name book with us on our road trip this summer, because that would force us to find some time to work on the options. A part of me was truly worried that we would never find a name–let alone two!–that we liked enough. One day driving through Ohio, we took turns going through the sections. Most of the time was spent eye-rolling or groaning.
Seriously, choosing a name for a human being to wear and use and be for the next eighty years or so…that’s a big deal. We have to live with it, and they have to live with it as small children and as grown adults, they will hope to avoid bad nicknames, they have to job hunt with it and fill out a lifetime of paperwork. Why burden someone with an annoying name that people can’t pronounce or spell correctly? Ugh.
Happily, after a number of hours of reading and considering, we did come up with a list of names that we didn’t hate–less than twenty. And we actually narrowed it down to two full names that we like pretty well. We haven’t told anyone, partly because we may change our minds, and partly because we don’t want to deal with other people’s opinions–and it seems like when people share their baby names, the other person feels compelled to share their experience or opinion of that name. And this is a hard enough decision without other people’s input!
So when these babies make their way into the world, we will introduce them to everyone for the first time, with names that are real names, solid names, that will hopefully grow with them into adulthood.