Friday, February 19, 2010
Of all the things I was going to have perfected as a parent, naming my child was number one. I had lists and names and opinions and a head full of pride. I was a number one, gold medalist, world champion namer.
But all of that was before I actually had the honor of naming an actual human being.
As it turns out, giving a name to my own posterity is far more complicated than I ever realized. I don't relish the thought of having to do it a second time. All of my favorite names--penned on paper since my teenage years--no longer feel right, or they are now so trendy I cringe at their popularity.
Knowing all of this, I've been pretty open-minded about name suggestions for both male and female names since the beginning of this pregnancy. I even thought we had a solid name for a daughter until one day I was vacuuming and I heard something of a voice in my ears saying, "Name the baby ____." I'm sorry, I don't have the guts to actually announce the name I heard in my ears (during vacuuming, why do I always get revelation during vacuuming?) to the whole world yet. And this is why:
The name is not an actual name, it is a word. A word I would use in a regular sentence. A somewhat spiritual word that I've never heard used as a name.
But that isn't really why I am too nervous to declare it here. This is really why:
Every time I become brave enough to tell people the name I heard (while vacuuming) they hate it. My mom wrinkles her nose, shakes her head. Lucy held a brief intervention on me the other day, "You can't do it!" Stephanie tried to be kind, but I could hear her inner-dialogue. In fact, the only person who has said anything positive about it (outside of me, Chup and the Voice in My Head) was Jed Wells. My banner designer/cousin. And I trust him, I do. Did you see the way my Nutella finger sparkles? Totally his idea. But three out of a dozen people? I don't like those odds.
And yet, I sorta feel (ok I really feel) like this is supposed to be this child's name. I've tried to talk myself out of it, to toss it, or trade it for a more socially acceptable choice. BUT I CAN'T. And I am sheepishly suggesting that it was whispered in my ear by an angel. The Naming Angel. The same one who told Isaiah to name his son Mahershalalhashbaz (which cheerfully means "Destruction is Imminent") or Joseph Smith's naming of his neighbor's son the always fashionable, Mahonri Moriancumer. Like that (but with a two-syllable name instead).
I like the name, actually. I do. It grows on me as the baby grows inside me. But it wouldn't hurt to hear from anybody out there who has been in our boat. Anyone out there have a unique name they have proudly sported their entire lifetime? Anyone out there with a name and a story bigger than "my parents just liked it"? Anyone ever felt they were supposed to name a child a specific name even when they weren't sure how it was all going to play out? Or named their baby while family members stood silent behind bitten tongues?
If so you can leave me a comment, or email me c jane mail @ gmail.com (no spaces).
And if you are capable of going back in time (like Micheal J. Fox) please don't tell my old me that at this point in my life, the point where I am sure to shine, what a mess I am. Let her believe in her glory while it shortly lasts.
Do that for me?
Post Edit: We have been overwhelmed by the response from this post. Chup and I went on date where we took time to read some of the emails and comments. We were so touched by your encouragement, wisdom and thoughts. There are some beautiful stories out there, thanks for sharing them with us. It means a lot, you may never know. The Naming Angel works in mysterious ways . . .
I am sure as soon as this baby comes we'll be announcing the name. Sadly it isn't Temple, Glory or Eternity (in fact, it isn't a noun at all) but those names certainly have a righteous tone.
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