It forces me to spend a few minutes, every day, seeking delight. Not in an Instagram-scrolling kind of way, but in a deeply authentic, what-brought-me-joy-and-delight-and-peace today kind of way.
When we’re choosing names, do we pause long enough to seek delight?
Because sometimes choosing names can really put us in a VERY negative place.
And I get it.
An approaching due date can make anyone a little nervous.
It’s frustrating to hear SO many opinions from people who do not, in fact, get a vote. But we love them, and so when our mom tells us that Chester will be teased or Molly will be one of three in her class, we feel like it’s something we should consider.
Plus, if your partner is more into the “shooting down every suggestion” camp than “helpfully brainstorming and analyzing” one?
Yeah, that’s gonna be a lot.
But, when we can, it’s important to think about what brings us joy.
With our son’s name, I barrelled through. All logic. A little too much logic, really, a carefully brokered compromise considering everyone’s perspective. We finalized the name before we thought about something that would bring us – and our child! – surprise and delight.
With our daughter’s name, we took the time to reflect on those qualities, and it made all the difference.
I love my children equally, but it’s my daughter’s name that thrills me.
And it’s because of that moment for reflection, the chance to think about love and joy and delight, rather than focusing only on syllable count and honor names.
So if you’re feeling stuck? Pause and consider what names – or qualities of names – truly bring you joy. It might not resolve everything, but it can help you see possibilities with a fresh perspective.
Okay, I kind of love that their daughter wanted to change her name and they went along with her preference. While I do wonder how this works – because I’m not sure I would’ve been mature enough to choose a new name so young – Rochelle McLean seems very level-headed about this. Would you let your child change her name?
Which reminds me of this 2019 story about name regret. (Okay, middle name regret.) The author named his son Tristan Flip, the middle name an effort to have something cool and original. His kid? Isn’t a fan, and the author concedes that “I feel like it was a little more about my own interest … without considering the fact that he might not want to stand out because of his name.”
Of course, the way we name our children inevitably reflects our age and experience at the time we welcome them. It’s so evident with this family. Mom Britni had her first at sixteen, daughter Crizman. Jordan, Caleb, Jace, Cadence, and Jesalyn followed. Now she and husband Chris have added Silas, Christopher Jr., Oliver, Asher, Abel, and Rowyn to their family. (Also, Oliver, Asher, and Abel are triplets, and that’s an amazing set of names to choose, all at once!)
And lest you think that big families and/or families with unexpected names is a twenty-first century thing? Nope. This list from a genealogist’s own family tree is packed with dazzling gems. Zélie-Stratonice-Henriette!
Just one more: move over, River and Rowan. A new batch of gender-neutral names is on the rise. I am here for Larkin and Jupiter, Cypress and Merritt.