Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's all in a name

Upon hearing the name of a friend's new baby, Danni said, "Your kid's gonna hate you!" Unfortunately, Danni's probably right. Weird names are just that...weird. Oh, sure, they show off a parent's creativity, but I can't help thinking about what Junior High is going to be like for these kids.

If you're expecting a baby and have an unquenchable desire to be creative, decorate the nursery! Don't saddle your precious little one with a name he'll resent you for.

We wear our names with pride. While I hated being called 'Hana Banana' as a child, I love my name now, especially with its unique spelling. But it is spelling that makes sense. Sometimes parents, in an effort to be different, come up with unusual spellings, adding excess letters just for sake of...of what?

And then there are those who think rhyming shouldn't be restricted to the pages of a good Dr. Seuss book. Betty Getty, Jodi Fodi, etc. These girls will be ready to shed their maiden names as soon as they can! But the poor boys are stuck with them for life: Phil Hill, Alan get the picture.

Also not cute are names like: Ben Gay, Cotton Candy (sounds like a stripper), or Autumn Lief. Why not stick to naming your children something respectable (think of future presidential material here) and reserving your more creative monikers to nicknames, which they can shed on the first day of college?

My husband used the nickname 'Wheat' for his first baby because she was so small she reminded him of a loaf of bread. Notice, I said nickname. He didn't burden her with that name for the rest of the world to use. While it may still sound endearing when he calls her that, I'm sure she's happy to not to have to write it on job applications.

Waiting until you first see your baby may not be the best time to come up with a name. Henrietta probably won't be too thrilled when you tell everybody about how you just had to name her that because she came out looking like a scrawny barnyard hen!

Names are important. They mean something to us. And their meanings are often important as well.

Those of you who are familiar with the Old Testament book of Ruth will remember how, after losing her husband and sons, Naomi changed her name to Mara, which means 'bitter.' She wanted a name that reflected who she was at the time.

So, if you're paging through the Baby Names books, don't just think about the sweet little infant that will be curled up in your arms like a loaf of wheat bread...think about the elementary school child on the playground, the Junior Higher trying to fit in, the High School senior on the Homecoming Court, the college graduate applying to law school... That's a lot to consider. But guess what? Naming a child is one of the first loving acts a parent can do. Do it well, my friend. Give your child a name of honor.

Keeping it emotionally healthy,


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