I’m still try­ing to think of a baby name

The Covington News - - Front page -

I’m ba­si­cally asked just two ques­tions th­ese days. “When are you go­ing to have that baby?” and “What is his name?”

Both ques­tions have the same an­swer: “I don’t know!”

In this time of early gen­der determination via ul­tra­sound, the ma­jor­ity of ba­bies are named months be­fore they’re due. But here we are, mere weeks—pos­si­bly days—from hav­ing our third son and I still don’t know what we’re go­ing to call him.

His in-utero nick­name has been Cle­tus, as in “Cle­tus the fe­tus.” Un­be­liev­ably, a few peo­ple took us se­ri­ously and thought that’s what we’re ac­tu­ally nam­ing the poor child.

My hus­band and I might be from the south, but even we aren’t quite that red­neck.

My friend Lori — a mother of four — sug­gested nam­ing him “ZachEli” be­cause that’s what I’ll end up call­ing him most of the time any­way. That made me laugh out loud as I’m al­ready bad about con­fus­ing my kids’ and pets’ names when I’m yelling for some­one.

We didn’t have any trou­ble nam­ing our first two sons. Zachary was cho­sen dur­ing seven long years of in­fer­til­ity. Both of us loved the name Zach, but ul­ti­mately chose it be­cause of its mean­ing: “God has re­mem­bered.” His mid­dle name, Allen, is my maiden name, and means “happy and cheer­ful.”

Elias Jeremiah was cho­sen for our sec­ond born be­cause I’ve al­ways loved this Greek ver­sion of the He­brew name Eli­jah. Jeremiah is a fa­vorite book of the Bi­ble and I love the way the name sounds. His name means “The Lord is my God; Ex­alted of God.”

My in­ter­est in name mean­ings com­pli­cates mat­ters. Be­cause no mat­ter how trendy or nice a name sounds, I just can’t name a child Avery — which means “elf coun­selor” or Bro­gan, know­ing that it means “shoe.”

I love the name Henry, nick­name Hank. But it was scratched off the list when we dis­cov­ered it means “ruler of the house.” Ba­bies of the fam­ily usu­ally do that any­way; I am not giv­ing my son a name that would ul­ti­mately en­cour­age his lord­ship over us all.

I don’t want my kid to be the tenth Ja­cob, Joshua, or Jack­son in his class, but some of the more un­usual names that are be­com­ing pop­u­lar sur­prise me. At­ti­cus, for ex­am­ple, has risen in pop­u­lar­ity over 700% in re­cent years. I just can’t imag­ine a wee baby with such a strong name — nor an adult of that name be­ing taken se­ri­ously.

I could fol­low ac­tor Ron Howard’s ex­am­ple. His four chil­dren are named af­ter the places they were con­ceived: Bryce Dal­las in Dal­las, Texas, Paige Car­lyle and Jo­ce­lyn Car­lyle at the Ho­tel Car­lyle in New York City, and Reed Cross af­ter a par­tic­u­lar road.

Let’s just say that our street’s name is even worse than chris­ten­ing the child At­ti­cus.

Orion is prob­a­bly the most un­usual name that I like. Then again, I just no­ticed when typ­ing it that it looks an aw­ful lot like the word “onion.” Hey, I could pair that with Ringo as a mid­dle name and tell every­one he was con­ceived af­ter din­ner at the Var­sity.

I’m no­to­ri­ous for in­de­ci­sive­ness, so I find the re­spon­si­bil­ity of giv­ing a child a name that will fol­low him the rest of his life al­most par­a­lyz­ing. I don’t want him to hate it. I’ve had to ac­cept that our rel­a­tives will crit­i­cize any name we choose. But they’ll get over it, like they did with my other two. Most of them just want a name­sake, for rea­sons I strug­gle to un­der­stand.

It’s def­i­nitely a lot eas­ier to re­cy­cle a name into a “ju­nior” or a “third” than to come up with some­thing new. Cer­tain in-laws of mine would love to see this child be­come Don­ald Richard the Third, but thank­fully my hus­band and I have agreed against that. We un­der­stand the con­cept of hon­or­ing some­one by reusing their name, but frankly you can tag a kid with a lot of un­nec­es­sary bag­gage that way, too.

Some­one asked if we were go­ing to con­tinue with our un­in­tended theme of us­ing vari­a­tions of Bib­li­cal prophets’ names. I think we might. But we’ll just have to wait un­til we meet the baby to de­cide what fits him best.

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