Touchy Topic Tuesday:
The Name Game
I come from a family full of kids with unusual names. Of course, you all know my name is Brae (Bray), I have a brother, Biege (Beej), a sister, Bergan, and a youngest brother Bozton.
My children don't have any strange names, though i HAVE been told that my girls have old lady names, and, yes, my son's name is less than common.
Anyway, who the heck cares?
Finding a baby name is one of my favorite parts of being pregnant. I am not the biggest fan of pregnancy in the first place. I'm a pretty tiny girl, so as soon as I get past the morning sickness, which plays out for 16 weeks as my worst nightmare, I get uncomfortable. Fast. There's not much room between my ribs and my hips, and a baby fills the space in record time.
Back aches, water retention, constipation, pinched nerves, insomnia, out of control emotions and the list goes on. I am not a fan. I LOVE my sweet babies. Which is why I do this. But I don't like pregnancy.
So, finding out if my baby is a boy or girl, and then spending hours, days and weeks pouring over books, internet sites, and throwing out polls on birth boards searching for a perfect name, arguing with Brandon over weirdness, exactly what is IN the name that can provoke ridicule from other kids, uniqueness, and other factors, is one of the things that gets me through the 9 months of pain and suffering that is pregnancy.
In roughly 10-12 weeks, we are going to have a beautiful new baby boy who will be a perfect little blank slate for me to spend the next 18 years screwing up, and apologizing to, and his name is one Brandon and I have had picked out since we were waiting to find out if Scarlet was a boy or girl.
His name will be Teague Liam MacCool.
Since I spent said months pouring over books and internet sites, etc, as was mentioned above, while waiting to find out about my new little one, I had a perfect girls name picked out too.
Earlier today, I took my youngest two children (as Lilly was in school) to a Halloween party thrown by two of my friends here. In all, there were 5 of us, and 12 children between us. While the children ran amok in their Halloween costumes, and ate pumpkin shaped ham and cheese sandwiches and waaaaaay too much candy, the moms chatted. Eventually, the conversation turned to our children, their names, what they meant and where we got them from.
As I am pregnant, I was asked what we would be naming this new baby, and, of course, I told them. I also mentioned that, if we have another girl, her name will be Hazel.
One of the other women turned around, a slight flash of fire in her eyes, and in mock good nature, slapped my shoulder. "But that's OUR name if we have another girl!"
My answer? In jest, I said "Well, I guess it's a race then, huh?"
I unintentionally left her speechless.
Of course, I laughed and shook my head, and told her "Then use it! I didn't make it up. If you want to use it, go for it! And if there are two Hazels in the same class, well, it won't be any different from there being two Ashleys or two Sarahs."
All the other women agreed, we had a laugh, and the conversation turned.
My mother has always had the opinion that one should never reveal a baby name until the baby is in your arms. In fact, I remember always waiting at my grandparents' house just waiting for the phone call to find out the name of my new baby brother or sister. That's right. The baby's name wasn't even a family secret. It was a well guarded secret which she protected with her life.
The theory is, if you tell someone your baby's name, someone who is due before you will inevitably "steal" it. So you keep it a secret so that no one else can have it. Like it's a precious gem. Like it's something no one has ever thought of before in the entire history of the planet.
Daily I see posts about this on my birth board. "Name stealing." And not just name stealing, but people get upset about someone using a name that even SOUNDS remotely like the name they have chosen.
For example, I once read a vent about someone who planned on naming her new girl Lulu- a name she says she had picked out as a little girl. Some good friends of the family had a daughter named Leelou, who was somewhere around 9 years old, and threatened removal of friendship if said woman were to keep her child's name.
Once, someone was seen to be venting online about a neighbor who was more of an acquaintance, naming their new dog Lily, which is the name they had chosen for their daughter.
However, when I was pregnant with my second baby, my first son, Mahone, I happened to live in a neighborhood which was full of pregnant women all due very near the same time I was. Out of 9 of them, 6 of them had boys.
And I blabbed Mahone's name all over the place.
Oh, sure, I endured a lot of ridicule. Many people thought it was too strange, too foreign, or came up with all types of things that kids could use to make fun of it. One woman even told me that, in Spanish, it means the word sh*t, which, after only brief research, it was obvious that it does not. (As a matter of fact, it's an Irish word that means 'bear')
I just happen to be of the opposite opinion of my mom. The truth is, I sort of feel that, if my baby's name is out there and everyone knows about it, well, if someone 'steals' it, then everyone else will know that I chose it first. The name is something that was mine to begin with, even if my baby was given it later.
Anyway, in addition to my opinion that everyone should know my baby's name as soon as I do, if only for the fact that they know I'll be using it, I just honestly don't even care if someone uses the name I chose. And personally, I've never been in one place for more than two years since I've been married.
Now, I suppose that if it were one of my siblings or Brandon's siblings who decided to use the name I had planned, then to just go ahead and use the name might not be an option. Could get a little bit weird. But, for the most part, I think that getting upset over someone who works with you or lives near you using the name you have picked out is just petty. It's a name. There's no patent. Just use the name yourself.
So there you have it. Let it be known that if we are given another baby girl, her name will be Hazel. It's not changing. Or, at least, if it DOES change, it'll be because I loved a name I found more than I love Hazel. Not because someone else uses it.
How about you?
Do you think it's a better idea to keep your baby's name a secret? Do you divulge the name? What would you do if someone close to you used the name? Would you change it? Would you confront them? Would you still use that name?
Let us know!