Saturday, 20 December 2014

It's a Boy! The Dilemma of Naming a Baby

We found out the new grandchild, due in April, will be a boy (provided the scan was read correctly). I am purposely staying out of the flurry of baby-name suggestions. After all, I had my chance to name my kids, and now it's their turn to name theirs. But that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion, of course!

Growing up, I could always think of tons of boy names I liked, but very few girl names. And I ended up having all boys. I could never have enough children to use all the names I liked, of course, so now I use them in my writing, cheerfully giving my characters names I always wished I could use. I have snuck my children's names into my books, as well...though I doubt any of them have read any of my books and so they aren't aware of it. With fictional characters, you can slap names on them with mad abandon, not having to worry about how they will be treated by kindergarten peers or how difficult it will be for them to fill out government forms later in life. So you can end up with characters named Calliope or Lavender or Carscadden or Lysander without compunction. My son is threatening to name his child Beowulf, just because he can. 

I purposely didn't name my children after family members, though I do like that tradition. I was afraid I wouldn't have enough kids to honour as many people as I wanted to (and who would I leave out?). And my favourite person in the universe after whom I'd want to name a child was my grandfather, but his name was Arvid, and you just can't name a modern child that with a clear conscience. Though I have noticed that some of the older, traditional names of yesteryear, like Alice and Henry, are coming back into fashion.

A lot of the names I liked didn't go well with McKendry, which is so Irish it limits your range of options. I love Biblical names, but Gideon or Issacher McKendry would have been just over the top. My boss's daughter is having a similar problem trying to find baby names that reflect her Celtic heritage but go well with Rodrigues, which is her husband's name. She should have thought of this dilemma before she married him.

Whatever name this child ends up with, I can't wait to meet him. I have so enjoyed playing and snuggling with his older sister. It's funny how life changes you. I never thought of myself as the cozy grandmotherly type, but it turns out -- astonishingly -- I am.

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