What’s in a name?

So we’re having a girl.
Girl names are supposed to be easy.
But for me the boy names always flowed, coming almost effortlessly.
(Although I’m pretty sure that Jesse disagrees with me on that!)

With girls it’s a whole new ballgame.
You want a name that’s strong, yet light.
A name that can sound official enough to be president,
But gentle enough that it fits if she decides to open a bakery.
You want it to sound tough enough to shout at softball games and sound fierce,
But feminine enough that it will fit if she’s a bread-making-baby-wearing mama one day.

You want it to roll easily off the tongue,
And fit well with the other names.
Carter, Lydia, Asa and…

Yet the name I keep coming back to is different from all my other kids.
It’s been in my mind for such a long time, but never shared with anyone but Marshall.
It’s a double name…and I’m not generally a fan of double names.
But it haunts me, whispers in my ear.
Put together it means “Gracious Old Friend”.
What a wonderful, beautiful meaning.

I’ve never, ever heard of anyone with this name.
I even googled it to no avail.

I think it’s perfect,
But I doubt myself.

It’s different.
It’s unique.
(But not weird.)

If she decided to use just one of the names,
She could pick either the traditional one
Or the more unorthodox one.

But…what if…
What if she hates it?
What if she hates being different?
What if she just wants to be like the other girls with names like Maddie and Addie and Ellie.
(For the record, I like those names just fine!)

Naming a baby is hard work!
And it stresses me out.
I need a nap.

6 Responses to What’s in a name?
  1. Donyale
    September 7, 2010 | 12:31 pm

    Ok – I, of course, have no children. However, being the recipient of a rather unique name places me in the position to say the following: just make the name easily readable and pronounceable. I’ve heard 17,123 ways to say my name, people continuously want to make it my last name, and I even had one person say they didn’t approve of the spelling. Craziness. When I was younger, I told my parents that just as soon as I saved up enough money I was going to change my name. (I later found out that my mama hated that I didn’t like it because she loved it). I just didn’t understand how something that was so simple to me, was so hard for everybody else.

    With that said, I LOVE that I’m not an Addie, Maddie, Ellie (although I do love those names, too). I constantly get “Oh, that’s pretty” or “It sounds just like it looks” and appreciate it being different. I love that my name has a story (from the time my parents met, mama knew she would name a girl “Donyale”; and so, despite believing that she was having another boy and being surprised, she didn’t hesitate on a first name because she knew) and that I’m named after my daddy. If this name is that name that haunts you, whispers to you then she will grow to love and appreciate it, too. I know that still doesn’t make the decision easier. But as long as 97% public can read and pronouce it, you are golden. (I say 97% because you got to leave a little room for the unexplainable).

    and p.s. I LOVE double names

  2. Liz Sanders
    September 7, 2010 | 12:33 pm

    I love unique names. Even more when they speak to you and you know that is the name you want. I knew that when I had a baby boy that he would be named Peyton, knew it in High School. So when I found out I was pregnant with a boy, that was it, he shall be Peyton. And the rest is history…11 yrs old! My rule was to not name my child something that could get them picked on at school, because I ALWAYS got picked on because of my first name. I’m sure whatever name you have picked out will be just wonderful.

  3. Pops
    September 7, 2010 | 5:04 pm

    Just remember that I seldom use the real names anyway. It is mostly some form of them but rarely the correct name…unless I use the full complete name when they are in trouble. So it matters not what the name may be to me as I will have my on pet name for whoever it may be and I will love this one just as much as I do the other three. By the way…I love you too. Oh yeah…I guess that includes Marshall since he was your choice to join the family. Just kidding Marshall.

  4. Laura
    September 7, 2010 | 8:10 pm

    My older daughter has a very unusual name (Nessa) while her sister has a very common name (Sarah). I often worried that N would hate the name when she realized she couldn’t buy a keychain or mug with her name on it. Then I realized in the age of personalization, it shouldn’t be a problem. The reason my younger daughter has a safe name is that is the only name DH and I could agree on. I wanted her name to be Ariella, but he nixed it – and it’s her middle name instead. I say go for the name you love!

  5. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith
    September 8, 2010 | 4:36 am

    My mother named my sister and me double names, Anne Marie and Mary Rose. My sister kept her double name, I did not except for my old friends and family members.

    I chose my oldest daughter’s name, I told my husband he gets to choose the last name, so I get to choose the first name! We did keep her Chinese name as her middle name, and it actually flows quite nicely. My youngest daughter came to us with her name, although we did tweak the spelling of it.

  6. domestic extraordinaire
    September 8, 2010 | 7:33 am

    I got to pick middle names and the only reason I picked the middle names that they have is I would have LOVED for them to be their first names but I just couldn’t have daughters named Connie and Vicky. So he got to pick their first names which I like. I was supposed to name them if they were boys and we see how well that turned out. LOL

    I also harassed you via email because I love you so.