Sunday, October 11, 2015

The weight of our names

Names have weight. They are filled with man and intention and baggage of many varieties. Giving a name is an immensely powerful act. Living with a name is often a lifetime sentence that color so many of our experiences. Our names can suit us perfectly, or they can chafe terribly.They can bar our entry to certain worlds and they can be the first teasing we really have to deal with.

When expecting a child, one of the biggest decisions we make is what to name that child. A name can be a first gift, a burden, a statement, or a frivolous accessory. My name was incredibly popular during my childhood. Looking back at my class pictures, I was rarely the only Amanda in class. I didn't love my name, either of them. I use Mandy, most of the time now, but as a child, I didn't like it that much and insisted on being called Amanda. I rarely use my middle name at all, for anything. My mom didn't like her name either. Because of these feelings, I agonize over names for my children.

So far, my sons both like their names and their meanings. They are common enough names, especially if your ethnic heritage is English, Irish, or Scottish. They aren't top picks for their gender either. It's a nice middle ground, as far they are concerned. Manning this baby has been hard. She will be judged for her name currently than her brothers will. I also want her carry a bit our hopes for her future in her babe, but I don't want her to be tied down by it. Our original pick for her middle name suddenly became less palatable to us, which meant my husband and I didn't night after night debating the merits of several different ones. It was exhausting to get to the point where we are now. We have a name picked, but it's not being shared yet, because we still might change our minds.

Names have energy and weight and sometimes power.  Choosing a name for ourselves or someone else is a minefield.  Names are labels, and we wear them, as well as their baggage daily.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment, share or ask questions, but please, keep comments in good taste and respectful.