Sunday Summary: 2.10.19 We don’t get the children we expect.

That’s not a bad thing. It’s just that we tend to imagine that our kids will love what we love. Sometimes this happens; and sometimes, we end up learning about all sorts of new things – dinosaurs or basketball or musical theater – because our kid arrives with ideas that do not match our own.

In other words? We name strangers.

This can create a conundrum. If we’re outdoorsy, we often want our kids’ names to reflect our love of the natural world. Witness a generation of babies lovingly christened River and Willow and Wren. Every World Series or Super Bowl brings tales of kids named for the winning teams’ MVPs. And, in our age of children named Khaleesi and Anakin, nearly every fandom inspires at least a few parents.

Most of the time, these mismatches go unnoticed. Sometimes they’re funny, or touching – or even ironic.

The main piece of advice I always give: Use the name you love.

But a second piece of advice: Build in a little balance. Canyon David has the option of being C. David if it turns out he’s more at home in a library than on a hiking trail. Canyon River? He might be forced to explain – again and again and again – that yes, his parents were super into backpacking … but he’s more at home indoors.

I love big, bold names – but it’s worth thinking about whether they reflect our interests too closely.

Elsewhere online:

That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!

Girl Names 2.10.19Boy Names 2.10.19


About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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