Monday, April 20, 2015

Don't Steal My Baby Name!

Baby Emma on the beach in September 2013

A few days ago, I was in the grocery store with the kiddos and began chatting with a really sweet older lady after we reached to grab the same apple (for the record, I let her have it!). She commented on how well behaved the kids were (I didn't tell her it was a rarity) and asked me a couple questions about the pregnancy. When I told her we were expecting a girl, she quickly asked: "Do you have a named picked out yet? If it's a secret, you don't have to tell me!"

This really struck me. I told her that of course it was not a secret and that we would be naming the baby Lucia Therese (aka Lucy). She then went on to explain that her son and daughter-in-law were always really big on keeping the name choices a secret until the precious bundle's arrival in order to prevent their name from being "stolen" by other, jealous, less creative parents-to-be.

Baby Matthew on top of Mount Helena July 2010

This reminded me of an incident I experienced a couple of years ago while attending a work event with Paul. At the formal dinner, we were seated next to another couple I had never before met - the husband occasionally worked with Paul and his wife was eight months pregnant with their first child. At this point, Matthew was about two years old so I thought that I would actually have something to talk about with this woman, especially since Paul's work events normally involve a bunch of engineers with stellar conversational skills sitting around staring at one another, perhaps occasionally discussing their latest projects, while I nod and smile awkwardly. But kids, pregnancy, childbirth - these were all subjects I could chat about! However, my enthusiasm soon waned when the gal presented a pretty standoffish front to my attempts at conversation. Granted, they weren't the most creative conversation starters, but I was really hoping to flesh out more than the one-word responses I received.

"How have you been feeling?"

"Do you know what you're having?"

"Ok. Well, that's good. Is the baby a Boy or Girl?"

"What an exciting time for you guys!"
*Silence and a blank stare*

Her husband was much more eager to jump in and fill in the gaps to this delightful conversation. Thank goodness for him! But then came the kicker. I asked the ultimate question.

"Do you have a name picked out for your little girl?"
At this point, the husband interjected: "Well, honey, we do have a name picked out."
To which she replied: "Yes, but I don't want her stealing it!"

Okay, at this point I was not even expecting. And these people do not even run within our close circle of friends so even if I was inspired by their name choice and decided to copy it by naming my own future daughter the same, they would not even know the difference! In case you're curious, we found out a month later that the special, super-secret name was "Norah". And as you all know, that's just the name I've been itching to name my daughters. Darn it, now it's claimed.

I honestly don't understand why people get so uptight about naming children. Unless we're going to go the Gwyneth Paltrow route and decide to name our children after fruit, odds are that our name choices are not going to be super-unique or personalized. My kids have pretty generic names, but we named them not for the uniqueness of the name but rather simply because we liked it! The uniqueness of each and every child comes from their individual personalities, souls, and expressions - not the name by which they are called. Maybe we're weird, but Paul and I really enjoy naming our child around the time of the anatomy scan and calling the baby by name for the duration of the pregnancy - and also sharing this news with others. Then, on the day of the birth, all we need is to see the sweet little face of our newest child! And we are so looking forward to meeting our daughter Lucy any time now!

But don't steal my baby name!


  1. There you go stealing my baby name again... ;)

    1. Sorry Stina! Like I told you today, you can still have "Iris" since Paul will never go for it!

  2. Haha, we are definitely some of those people that don't share baby names. In our defense, so many good ones are already taken with our huge families that it's hard to find any that we can agree on! But yes, with virtual strangers I'd care less about guarding "our" names. Family is a different story. =)

    1. You do have a great excuse! So many people in your family and so many good names already claimed! We have a bit of that issue with boys between our two families. I think boys names are more difficult anyway because there just don't seem to be as many options! Since our top boy name is Wyatt, I think Paul and I are pretty safe in thinking that nobody else will claim that before we have another boy! However, all evangelists/common boy saints/typical Christian names are pretty much gone.