20,001 Baby Names

February 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Posted in Bun | 11 Comments

In the Venn Diagram called “Names My Husband and I Like,” there’s his circle, my circle, and a veeeeeeeeery tiny smidgen of overlap. Microscopic.

With Lollipop (whose gender was a surprise), we agreed on one girl name and one boy name. That’s it. Luckily, she looked like the girl name we had picked. (Or else we were too tired to go back to the drawing board. Those first few days of newbornness are blurry.)

And I love her name. We gave it to her, but she has made it her own. It is who she is.

Similar story with Giggles. We knew he was a boy. We agreed on one name. Done. (Bonus: He’s even got a “q” in there somewhere. I mean, how many kids get to say that?)

And I love his name. We gave it to him, but he has made it his own. It is who he is.

Last Call
So. Bun. In all likelihood, our last child. Our last child to name. The last name we will ever bestow on another person. Whoa.

All the other names we each love — because they belong to treasured family members, or because we’ve had them filed in our memory banks since childhood, or because of exceptional alliterative value — they will never be ours.

All other names. Never ours. No wonder we can’t decide.

Lucy in the Sky
I’m an only child. I’m female. In my head, I always imagined I’d have daughters. Plural. I even wore pink maternity pants to Bun’s ultrasound.

Wishful thinking? Not really. (The pants were super-comfy. Just so happened they were pink.)

And that day, when we discovered he was a “he” — and he was a healthy “he” — I was happy. Genuinely. Plus, I could breathe and laugh and truly cherish the moment. Since I was wearing comfy pants.

But I was also wistful. A little bit. I would never have daughters. Plural. I would never have a Natalie, Eleanor, Margaret, Elizabeth, Lucy. My names. Slowly, I’m letting them go.

“A” My Name is … Ajax?
Where does that leave Bun? Nameless. But not hopeless. We do have a short list, though we’ve tried every combination, permutation, and derivative. No dice. No mutually agreeable dice, that is.

This is why I recently dusted off 20,0001 Baby Names. And I hate this book. The very thought of picking my kid’s name from a laundry list makes my eye twitch. It’s a nicely alphabetized and etymologically complete list. I appreciate this. But still.

Shouldn’t the perfect name just come to you? In the shower, or in the carpool line, or while you’re indulging in some really decadent chocolate? Shouldn’t it, miracle of miracles, just appear in your brain?

Eureka!
OK, probably not. (I’ll indulge in some decadent chocolate just the same. I mean, you never know. Epiphany by dessert seems reasonable to me.) But just yet, we don’t know Bun’s name. I’ve only made it through the first 3,171 on the list.

Whatever we decide, however it comes to us, we’ll know. We’ll know when it’s right. And this meaningful, powerful, perfect name of our second son, our last child, I will love it.

Yes, I will love his name. We will give it to him, but he will make it his own. It will be, after all, who he is.

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11 Comments »

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  1. Naming our children was the most grueling process. And knowing that we don’t have to do it again, makes me a little happy 🙂
    Good luck! Like you said, whatever you decide will be his, and he’ll make it his own.

  2. You could take all the names in your circles…. jumble up the letters and play scrabble. See what pops out.

    Whatever the final winner…it will be PERFECT.

  3. I come from 3 sisters and knowing that my daughter won’t have that sister bond with another sister is strange. But, this is HER reality (I keep telling myself) and a great number of women grow up just FINE without sisters to grow up with.

    But it’s still weird. My sisters are my best friends and rocks. Can’t imagine not having them…

    Baby names, eh? It’s a process, that’s for sure. My daughter’s name was chosen when we were pregnant with baby #1 and we kept pulling it out for each child. The fact that we got to USE it on #3 still astounds me!

  4. I know what you mean about it being the last name you’ll ever pick. But, you’ll know when it’s right.

  5. I’ve always been pleased that we have one of each. I come from a big family through a second marriage (it was me and my brother, then my stepmom came along with four kids). We are all so close as siblings and I am so thankful I have sisters. So I am a little sorry that the Pixie will not have a sister. But I also have a wonderful relationship with my brothers. Plus, Lolli is the oldest so she can lord it over those boys!

    We found out both genders and had names picked out well before they arrived. I don’t know what we would do if we had another! Ours were very short lists as well. Definitely indulge often in that “Epiphany by dessert” theory!

  6. What if you took some of your favorite girl names and looked at the male equivalent. That’s basically how I got my name — they were expecting Stephen when I showed up. 😉

    Natalie = Nathaniel
    Eleanor = Eli
    Margaret = Martin
    Elizabeth = Heathcliff (okay, that’s a stretch)
    Lucy = Luke or Luc — which brings me to another idea, how about considering some Parisian names??? Your favorite city…

    Just don’t consider Uga. At least Auburn has Aubbie, which is a relatively normal name.

    Regardless, you’ll get it right.

  7. We took 7 names to the hospital. Some were “mine” and some were Adam’s, some were both. We spent about 10 hours with her before naming her. It seemed easy once we knew her 🙂

  8. I feel your pain. This child may end up Zebedee Zebulon Mulford if we can’t come to consensus 🙂 I too love love names, and I console myself saying that names we don’t use can be chicken names. Plus, with chickens, you can name them fantastical names you’d never saddle a child with. I have a separate list for these. So, in other words, I recommend chickens.

  9. Our first baby was a special (sad) case, and I won’t bore you here.

    We always knew a daughter would be named Flora. And it’s a perfect name for our little dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty. (she’s our second, just to be clear.)

    Kate — our Bun when I was pregnant with her — has an interesting naming story. Kathryn was supposed to be her middle name. To sum up, she needed to be born a little sooner than we had originially planned. After talking names for a while (and after pointing out to my husband that he was going Italian on me again), we decided Kathryn would be her first name instead.

    I think I was calling her Kate by the time we brought her home.

  10. it was an adventure for us to pick out our daughter’s name. and finally my husband put one together and it fit!

  11. @ “Shouldn’t the perfect name just come to you?” Yes, oh yes. But could it, just maybe, come to both of you? 🙂
    So, you have my wheels turning over that “q.” My husband lobbied for “Quincy” for our son, among a few others.
    In the end we called him Jack, which is what I [thought I] knew all along. Inexplicably, for his first 16 months or so, one of my colleagues thought it was “Jax.” Like Ajax.


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