Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Name Game

Okay, so both Jill and Frances have inquired about the naming trend Darren and I have followed thus far with our children. It's funny they asked, really, because this very issue has caused me great anxiety at times in the past! I'm happy to talk here, though, about how we've picked our children's names; I'll start at the beginning.

Like all young girls (or so I assume), I kept a mental list of possible future baby names, adding and adapting over the years until, at the time of my marriage, I had a running list of about half a dozen or so each of boy and girl names that I loved. However, while we were expecting Dylan, it became quickly apparent that Darren and I did not love the same names...not even close. (I have unsuccessfully lobbied for "Skylar Ereniah" with every single pregnancy, but alas, my dear husband just won't hear of it.) :)

Anyway, "Dylan" was a name that I had never really considered until I was actually pregnant with him, but Darren, initially, preferred something a little more traditional. (As I recall, "Daniel" was a name we both sort of liked early on.) But one quiet night, as we were both engrossed in reading in the close quarters of our apartment living room, Darren looked up from his book and said, "How about Dylan Jacob?" That was it. I knew right then that was THE name we would give our baby. I loved that name, and even today, I can think of no better name to more perfectly suit our Dylan.

When we were expecting Caitlyn, we found out about midway through my pregnancy that we'd be having a little girl, so that simplified matters somewhat in choosing a name. There were many I liked. (None, though, from my former list. Funny, that.) I favored names like "Hannah", and "Savannah", both of which Darren vetoed, but then one morning, immediately upon awakening, the name Caitlyn Grace sprang to mind. I loved that name, too, and happily, so did Darren. I did worry much about the sameness of the names, though. I'd repeat them over and over again in my mind, wondering if it made a difference that they ended with like sounding syllables. Dy-lan, Cait-lyn...over and over and over again. I drove myself nuts. But ultimately, I liked the name too much to change my mind. And our Caitlyn Grace is beautiful. The timeless simplicity of her lovely name suits her perfectly, too.

Next, Meghan. By the time she came along, we realized that we had inadvertently set a sort of precedence with "N" ending names. And so the dilemma: should we follow suit with her, too, or break the trend? What if she was our last child and felt forever like the odd one out? What then? (Yes. I do tend to over-think.) I actually tended more towards the "break the trend" philosophy (mostly because I was sure we'd have more children), and I was convinced we were having a boy. But when I realized that I was in labor a month too early, we still hadn't definitively decided on a name. Darren was sure we were having a girl, and he wanted to name her Meghan Elizabeth. I was certain we were having a boy, and was adament about the name "Zachary Michael". In fact, on the way to the hospital, we were joking about our lack of absolutes. We needed a name! So we compromised: "I'll give you Meghan Elizabeth," I conceded, "if you'll give me Zachary Michael." "Deal." It was an easy agreement for both of us, because we were both so sure we were right. Turns out, Darren won. :) And I thank God every day. Meggie is our perfect little girl with a perfectly suited name. I couldn't have picked a better one myself. ;)

And finally, Kristen. By the fourth time around, we pretty much decided that we had to pick another "N" name. Because what if she really was our last? Her name, I think, was really one of the easiest we've ever picked. We knew early on that she would be Kristen Marie, which was a good thing. Had any of our other children been born so soon, they would have probably been nameless for the first day or two! And I love Kristen's name. Sometimes I say the whole thing, out loud, just to hear the beautiful way that it rolls from my lips. Kristen Marie. Like a wish, or a prayer. A perfect name for my perfect little blessing.

Now I'm left to wonder if or when we'll ever have a chance to choose another baby name. I sometimes joke that the only way I'd ever deviate now from an "N" name is if we were to have twins...they could break the trend together, and never have to feel left out! A girl can hope, right? :)


Jill said...

Thanks for the interesting explanation!
Isn't it an honor to be able to name our children?
Well, I think my Aslynn would fit in well in your family. :)
Now my mind is spinning thinking of names that could go with your family. However, I am hoping you get those twins. They're kind of nice!
Oh, and that 'list.' Yes, I had one. I still am always thinking of names for future children. :)

Frances said...

Great story - thank you so much for sharing! I can definitely identify with the first part (I love reading back through my journals, where I usually listed my top choice names yearly). We'll see what happens when it comes time for David and I to choose names!

Celeste said...

I love to hear stories like these. What fun!

Lillian said...

HA!! I used to name my children during geometry in high school. I never did understand geometry BUT I had a long list of names. LOL!!In high school I had names like Alexandra, Cassandra, Andrea, Alexis, .... names that have never been on the short list! LOL!

So, you're not the only one who had a running list. I think its funny how when its for pretend you can think of all these names. But when there's a real human being waiting for his/her name, all of a sudden that list doesn't count. More thought has to go into it!! LOL!!

Love your kiddos names BTW!!! They sound good together!

Shannon said...

This was so fun to read Melissa!
I'm also interested to hear how things go with your Meghan with her speech therapy (only if you want to share of course!).

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE your play list?? The other day I was studying and had it on as background music hehe! Thanks so much for being a part of my school work!

Nadja Magdalena said...

I have a friend whose husband really liked to get involved in the naming process. At one point he said, "What about Nathaniel?" She didn't like it. "Well," he said, "would you settle for Amos Obediah?"

She decided that Nathaniel sounded pretty good.

Anonymous said...

This is my first time reading your blog -- very nice, and adorable kiddos! This post caught my eye because my dear brother had the exact same quandry. His kids are Kaitlyn, Ryan, Brandyn, and Jonathan!

Sue in Japan (homeschooling mom of 4)

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