My children have been known, from time to time, to complain about their names. I'm not sure really what their problem is since we don't call any of them by their real names anyway, but complain they did. On this particular day, I felt the need to sit them all down and explain to them how lucky they were.
I've always taken names very seriously. I often wondered what parents where thinking when it came to naming their children... Tommy Thompson? Dick Trickle? Really? This was the best you could do? You had 9 freaking months to come up with something and THIS was it? Geez. (yeah, I'm judgemental. deal with it.)
When I found out I was pregnant with #1, I spent a great deal of time analyzing names. I look at Name Books and made lists of family names. I tried to come up with derogatory rhymes or other things that kids would call them on the playground so I would be able to avoid them. I even laid out their initials and monograms to make sure they didn't spell anything troublesome. (Monograms were popular in the 70's and 80's). I was bound and determined to not make them easy targets for the vicious little brats they would go to school with.
And it's not like I had a bad name or was picked on or anything about it as a kid. I think I developed this concern partly out of judging what I felt were other people's bad choices and partly from Ann of Green Gables. I just love those books. And I just love the movies. (Megan Follows is one of my favorite actresses - no clue why - but she was great as Anne.) So maybe Anne's desire to be Cordelia colored my motives.
Once I had a few options, I would give them to my husband who, god love him, didn't seem to think this was as big a deal as I did. However, he did humor me and pointed out other problems I didn't notice until we had one girl name and one boy name picked out. (He vetoed Cordelia right off the bat with no good reason!)
We did this for each of our four children. It took less time with #2, #3, and #4 since we kept the same boy name and only had to find a new girl option. And each time we thought we'd get our boy so I didn't really consider the big picture.
So that brings us to last week. I told my girls they should be very grateful for their names. It could have been much worse. Had I called Miss Cleo and been told that I would have four daughters, they could have had A THEME. Perhaps flowers: Lily, Rose, Violet, and Iris. Or maybe gems: Ruby, Opal, Emerald, and Pearl. Literature is an option: Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and whatever that last Bronte sister's name was. You get the point. And so did they.
I could go into detail on what each name is and what it means and how we arrived at that name, but that isn't the point. The point is that they have made new names for themselves. These names have been given to them by friends or family members and the truth and love behind each name has made it stick. I guess, in the end, my mission was a success... none of them are saddled with names that hurt their feelings or make them sad.
All my love to:
Miss Sparklezz / aka Sparky (Kayla)
The Jew / aka Jewbie (Carolen)
Lafawnduh / aka Boo (Rebecca)
The Cheese / aka Queso or Fromage -when we are feeling European (AnnMarie)