This weekend, my son’s hockey team lost the playoffs. It was worse than that, actually. After a long winning streak, they lost in the first round to a team they’ve beaten before. And it wasn’t close. It’s heartbreaking.
And yet, it doesn’t really matter. Not even a little. The lessons of hard work and good sportsmanship remain, trophy or no. The skills you build carry beyond that one tough hour on the ice.
Knowing how to hold your head up high when things don’t go your way? Maybe that’s the ultimate life lesson sports can offer any of us.
And so: youth sports matter tremendously much, but they don’t really mean anything at all. Both things are true.
Lately, I wonder if there’s a similar challenge around choosing names. Do they matter? Oh, absolutely. Our name is something we wear daily, hear repeated constantly, a sound that ties us to our family, our personal history, and often, to our generation and a moment in time, too, be it Sophia or Khaleesi. It’s a gift, given with tremendous love and care. It matters.
But if our parents get it wrong? If our name is too popular or too different, difficult to spell or impossible to pronounce? Most of us manage perfectly fine, even if it means taking the raw material of our given name and re-shaping it. Or simply growing into it, embracing the family heritage it celebrates, or accepting that we are each unique and valuable, even if our name is one in a crowd.
Which brings me back to sports: we do our very best. We give the effort we can, and, hopefully, we take the lessons away that we should. And we know that tomorrow is, always, another day. Naming is no different. Heck, most of life is no different.
- Speaking of the intersection of sports and naming, it’s time for March Madness baby names edition! Vote for your favorites in the girls’ opening round here, and the boys’ opening round here. Then come back next Saturday to see which names advance to the next round!
- Y’know how there are lots of ways to spell Caitlin/Kaitlyn/Katelynn? Turns out that Catherine has been evolving in strange and wonderful ways since the Middle Ages. My nominee for the most eye-popping find: Quaterine!
- I’m behind on my British Baby Names birth announcements. Check this out: two Elodies, and a big brother Othello.
- Meagan asks if these names are too old lady. I say every one of ’em is right with potential.
- These lists of personal Top Ten favorite names are all-out fascinating.
- Welcome, Ithaca Storm! I don’t know what to make of this one. Separately, I like them so much! Together, it sounds a little like a minor league sports team. And yet, I do like it …
- Nancy has the facts on Finnish baby naming.
- Wow! I shared a few stories last week about friends and family who were overly involved in the naming process. Here’s one more.
That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!