Thursday, September 27, 2007

What's in a name?

As new parents, there were few decisions we fretted over more than the naming of our children. We were convinced that our baby's name would determine who he was, how people perceived him - it would dictate his future. A name, essentially, could make or break our child's life. No pressure.

To further complicate matters, both my husband and I were teachers. This meant that based on our experiences we had certain qualities attached to names* that otherwise would have been wonderful.

"How about Hercules?"
"Whiner."
"Hmm....Xena's pretty."
"Too bossy."
"Zeus?"
"Nose-picker."

And so forth and so on. In the end, we chose a Celtic name for our son that was somewhat unusual(it warranted a few raised eyebrows from the more traditional members of the family). We did worry that we'd doomed him to a life of mispronunciations and corrections, but as he grows we couldn't imagine him being anyone else. And, in a way, we were right. While he has the ability to dictate his own future, his name is an integral part of who he's become.

To that point, our amazing nine-year-old boy brought this poem home yesterday. He gave me permission to share it with you.

My name is C------
It flows like silk on the wind.
It's crisp and fresh like watermelon
or an autumn day.
It's red and green
like a bird of paradise.
It's spicy like Hot Tamales
and sweet like Twix.
It looks like an outline
in the fog.
All of these things
fit into this uncommon name
that belongs to me.
My name is C------.

Sigh.


*For the record, we did not actually consider the names Hercules, Xena and Zeus. I chose these extreme examples so as not to offend anyone. My apologies if your child has any one of these names....I'm sure he or she is a lovely child who exhibits none of these traits.

7 comments:

nell said...

What a beautiful poem. You son has a wonderful imagination and his sense of imagery is lovely.

Terry said...

Wow. C----- is some poet. Really.

My husband actually wanted to name our firstborn Zebulon, if she turned out to be a boy. Or Spartacus.

My mother said a thousand rosaries, and we got a girl.

beta mom said...

Thanks Nell - he loves to write. (Although this is one of the few pieces that doesn't involve imperial stormtroopers or Harry Potter!)

Terry - Praise Jesus! or genetics! Thanks for stopping by!

Deb said...

HEHEHEHE my kids are named after Sports stuff. I heard one person in Jaan tried to name their kid "@", and someone named their kid ESPN! My kids are Camden, after Camden yards, and Tanner Noll, after Chuck Tanner and Chuck Noll, pittsburgh coaches, managers.

creative-type dad said...

I like the candy references...!

Hallie said...

WOW you have a little writer! Beautiful! I remember naming the twins, first we did not tell anyone the name until they were born and second i insist they are both called by their full name as i spent to much time trying to figure out their name!!

foolery said...

I wanted the girls to have slightly old-fashioned names, and I wanted to be able to call them on the playground and not have 17 kids answer. So, of course, I call them Smedley and Sparky.