Our 16-year-old babysitter, who lives across the street, hates her name, which rhymes with her mother’s.
“It’s so common,” she complained. She and I were in the bathroom helping the kids brush their teeth. “I wish I had a meaningful name. I wish my mother had thought more about it. She just named me after herself. I don’t want to do that to my kids.”
I’m sure my children will be upset about some (many?) of our parenting choices when they are older. But they won’t chastise us for not thinking hard enough about their names.
James and I both love words and literature and languages and we started talking about baby names years before we married. When I was pregnant with our first James read lists of names to my stomach and waited for the baby to kick to indicate which ones it liked. That’s how name crazy we are.
This time it took us nine days to decide on our baby’s name.
Naming a person you don’t know very well feels like a big responsibility. Also, we have high standards: The name has to fit the baby, sound pretty to our ears, and have an important meaning. It also has to go with the other children’s names and go with our very Italian family name.
We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl but we had so many girls’ names that we loved that we spent a lot of time talking about boys’ names in the last month of my pregnancy. So when the baby was a girl, even though I had suspected she would be, I felt unprepared in the name department.
It was even more complicated because the baby’s two older sisters and one older brother all had very strong opinions about the name.
Interested in reading more? Click here to find out what names we were considering and what we finally decided to name the baby.