“Guiseppe,” my husband is suggesting. “Giorgio. Ferdinando!”
“We’re not Italian,” I say.
You have to know who you are before you can name a baby.
And if this particular baby were born tomorrow, we would have to call it Pumpkin for awhile, until we came up with something more name-like.
So it’s going well.
This—choosing a baby name—is obviously the most important parenting decision you’ll ever make.
(Other than maybe whether to carry the baby in a sling vs. an ergo. Or whether to let your child wear soft-soled shoes or go barefoot.)
(Also whether to join the cavalry in the mommy wars, or to stick with the archers. Big decisions all the way around.)
We all like to think the names we choose for our babies have to do with our hopes and dreams for them—how does it sound after “President”? how would it look on the cover of a book?—but I suspect they really say more about us than they do about our kids.
Maybe you want people to think you’re traditional. Or trendy. Or unusual. Or British.
Choose your name accordingly.
This explains why I was surprised when Dane suggested one name—it doesn’t matter what name, specifically, and if I tell you the name, it will surely turn out to be your name, or your daughter’s, or your sister’s—imagine something like Moonbeam or Raindrop.
“What, are we hippies?” I asked.
“Um,” he said. “Yes?” he said. “Kind of?” said he.
What? Because of the whole-foods vegetarian thing? Or the making cleaning products out of vinegar and baking soda thing?
Or because I will give birth to this baby on the living room floor, then swaddle him (or her) in organic bamboo and breastfeed her (or him) for the next two-to-five years?
Okay, I’ll give him counter-cultural, at least.
But we live in a culture that tells us: You can do anything! You can have it all!
And then that morphs into: You can have it all, just not all at once!
Or sometimes: You can have it all, if you learn to juggle!
Which starts to sound like: You can have it all, but it will never be enough.
And you know what? I don’t want to have it all. I want to do a few things as well as I can, and have that be enough.
My enough doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s enough. You keep being weird in your own way. I’ll keep being weird like this. It will all work out just fine.
I still don’t think we’ll name the baby Meadowlark.