The name you choose for your little bundle of joy is kind of a big deal, right? There are so many factors to consider when trying to make the right choice. What's it mean? Does it go with your last name? Does it hold sentimental significance? Is it too weird? Is it too common? Will it suit them for the REST OF THEIR LIFE?! How many syllables? (Seriously, some people find this terribly important.) Does it go with their sibling's names?
Some of these factors, people don't find to be very important. Others hold more clout. Then, there are those times when you and your significant other don't necessarily agree -- not just on the names, but the "why"s behind the names.
Our first son's name is "Hadley Allston" (Allston is my deceased father's middle name that goes way back). We pretty much adore his name as much as we adore him. Since we didn't find out his gender beforehand, we went into the hospital with a handful of names for both a female and male, plus a couple of possible middle names. It may have driven our families nuts (and, in this case, definitely caused an eyebrow raise or two), but we kept them all pretty much locked up tight in advance. When the little (big, 10+ pounder) guy was born, all the other names flew out of our brains. His face just emanated "Hadley." We feel we nailed it, head-on, with his name.
Even those who were doubtful upon hearing his name on Day #1 have come to say, "No, he's a Hadley. He just is. No other name suits him." It's a general consensus. Thank God and whew. Not that it matters that family and friends deem it an acceptable name; it just helps. We still get strangers who respond, "Uuuummm...okay." But, who cares? ;-)
The fact that we feel "Hadley" hit it out of the ballpark puts the pressure on for Baby #2. We haven't pored over the baby name book quite as thoroughly (we actually did the activities in the book our first time; this time, we're just perusing the name dictionary part), and while I'm not feeling a huge sense of urgency about tightening up our current list, my husband totally is.
Our challenges? I look at everything. If the name has a meaning that's really cool (or, at the very least, doesn't mean "steaming pile of feces in the yard"...you get the gist), I'm more apt to be on board for it. Same goes for origin: since I have an ancestry with Welsh/Irish/English roots, I gravitate in that direction. If it's got too many syllables or doesn't sound good with our kind of unusual last name, I'm out. Add to that the fact that I'm an educator, and it cuts our list down tremendously.
My husband, on the other hand, doesn't think any of those things is really important. He doesn't care as far as ancestry is concerned (he likes to say he just feels "American"). He seems to have more of an organic way of picking ones that just sound good to him. And I can respect that. I just feel awful when he mentions one and I immediately shoot it down: "I have three of those in kindergarten as we speak."
So, our criteria, at present?
- Not too common, but not too "out there."
- Not a name I've taught before. (Or, at the very least, only once and they have to have been a good kid. I'm weird.)
- Should have at least a good flow with our last name. (There's one my husband LOVES, but I just don't think it sounds good with our surname. Just doesn't.)
- If it could be slightly Anglo, that'd be great. (My husband has even taken to saying, "Hey, nudge nudge, this one's even Irish!" He knows my soft spot, what can I say?)
- Compliment "Hadley." (Not rhyme, or necessarily start with the same letter, but be in a similar "family", if that makes any sense at all.)
So, the list-making continues. Our fingers are crossed that, come November, this baby's face will do exactly what his/her big brother's did: sneak us the answer.
Did you guys have much trouble naming any of your children? What criteria was super important to you? Did you use any cool books or tools to help you figure it out?