I’m apparently psychic! That’s what it means when one foresees a reasonably probable event, right? Yesterday, my brother texted me, asking us to please not use our #1 girl name. He was actually really nice about it – he recognized that I’m more pregnant, and if we have our hearts set on it, etc., it’s not worth fighting about. But that it was their #1 choice for their first kiddo, had he been a girl, and now they would like to use it for this one (which they know is a girl).
As soon as he asked, the name in question went from being my probably-favorite to my Actual Favorite, but I also immediately decided it was not worth fighting about, or even having bad/sad feelings about. I mentioned it to Kevin, who I expected to immediately concede, not least because I wasn’t sure he even LIKED the name that much. He said that we should get to use it, because my brother lost the bet and I still haven’t named any of his kids.
As I relayed this joke to my brother, I became aware that Kevin wasn’t actually joking. And that in his mind, though he had not yet shared it with me, this was The Name (should this baby be a girl). (This is how it went with Eliza, too – I mentioned it as a possibility to no great reaction, and several days or weeks later, Kevin casually said ok, her name is Eliza, moving along.) So I backpedaled a bit with my brother and said we would discuss it that night, but that I also certainly didn’t want to fight about this.
Simultaneously, I had mentioned this (not actual) drama on twitter, which spurred a really enjoyable discussion of naming Dos and Don’ts, as well as myriad delightful lady name suggestions. I found my twitter friends to have interesting and useful opinions on the subject of baby naming, as well as baby naming snafus. Swistle has certainly weighed in on each of these points before, but suddenly they apply to ME and well, it was all very interesting.
1. Most people didn’t think it was weird at all if cousins have the same name.
1a. This applied more for boys sharing a name than for girls sharing a name
1b. This applied more for cousins that were not close in age
1c. This applied more for large families with lots of cousins (and aunts/uncles).
2. Many people thought I should have dibs on the name, or on deciding we could both use it or similar versions of it, because I’m more pregnant than my SIL, but also thought it was not worth fighting over (or even just having anyone feel bad about).
3. A lot of people get around this issue by just never disclosing the baby’s name or potential names until birth. Which, obviously, we could have done, but it seemed so POSSIBLE that we might pick the same name that we decided to discuss it. And it happened!
4. Of the people that I actually asked, none of them thought it would be odd to name a girl baby after my living mother (OK, except the jewish people, for whom all living relatives are off limits as namesakes). I know this is done all the time for boy babies and their grandpas, and even fairly regularly for girl babies and their great-grandmas (i.e. my grandma), but it seems like my mom’s name (Holly! I love that name!) would be weird to use. Well! Consensus (and Swistle herself!) say I am wrong. (That said, this name did not end up on our top three list this go round.)
5. Pretty much no one thought it was weird for two close friends to name their children the same name. This made me happy – I think that would be neat!
6. Most people thought someone else using your kid’s name is a compliment at best, and insignificant at worst. LOTS of people said, over and over again, you don’t own a name!
6a. Except sometimes when bad things happen, like miscarriages, etc., and then tread lightly.
Anyway, all of this certainly appears on Swistle’s blog, as this is her thing, I just really enjoyed talking about it for my specific situation. Which, I should add, we resolved easily last night. I think my bro and SIL asking to have that name (and the resulting twittering) kicked our butts into gear: we had a good and fruitful discussion last night. I think we have solid, agreed upon top threes for both boy and girl. I’m not sure we will pick or even rank the top threes before the baby comes, which sounds kind of fun but also crazy. Also, they are still subject to change, especially the boy names, because boy names are haaard.
SO. I am definitely not at liberty to share the name we are NOT using, because now that belongs to Johnny and Kim and is theirs to share. We DID divulge Eliza’s name once we chose it, and didn’t have any issues with people expressing negative opinions about it. Obviously this time we can’t CHOOSE the final name, because we don’t know what kind of baby it is, but I’m still debating sharing our contenders. I don’t particularly give a shit if people (even family! hi family!) don’t like them, so I’m not terribly concerned with people saying as much (who does that, anyways? JERKS, that’s who.) And I don’t believe in name theft – there’s room for everyone!
So yeah, I’m doing it. We haven’t picked out middles yet, but here are our top three girl and boy first names, in no particular order:
Ladies: Zora, Penelope (Penny), Hazel
Gents: Grady, Sawyer, Caleb, Wesley OK FINE THAT’S FOUR WHATEVER.