Friday, November 8, 2013

What's In A Name?

   I have so many friends who are expecting now! Babies everywhere; don't drink the water!!! Anyway, it's really great, but the thing is, until I had my own baby, I didn't know that I liked babies. I actively avoided all babies and if someone brought one near me, they would get rewarded with a panic-induced, "I don't want to hold that thing!!!" Not what a new mom wants to hear, let me tell you. But, as I have said, I have outgrown that fear.
  All these new moms are going through or have already gone through picking out names for their babies, and all this reminds me of the headache of picking a name for my daughter, which was a freaking war. Her father and I couldn't agree on any name at all. For a long time, we just argued back and forth. I originally wanted to name my daughter Regina. There was no sentimental reason for this name; this was a name I had just liked since sometime in my early teenage years (although, at this time, I was actually still a teenager - I got pregnant at 19) and I just thought that Regina was  a pretty name. He wanted to name our daughter Carrie. I didn't like Carrie, because I read too much Stephen King. I also didn't like Carrie because this is name of one of his female friends, a female friend that he even dated for a short time; although he didn't think that I knew this. I never made a big deal about it because I am not the overly jealous type and I just felt that obviously the dating part didn't work out, but just some advice -- dudes, it is NEVER EVER okay to try and name your daughter after some chick that you dated in the past. Sorry, not a good idea, and it did make me wonder how over his feelings he was towards her. Naming a kid after someone specific is a pretty big thing. And to be fair, if a chick did the same thing, you guys would be pretty pissed. That was one of our first big ass fights, and it ended with tears, but I did not back down. Looking at the state of what our relationship is now, I am beyond glad that I didn't back down.
   The compromise to that fight was that I would give up Regina, which he hated, if he would give up Carrie, which I hated. This left us trying to find other names. I didn't want something that was common, where she would go to school and there would be two or  three other girls with the same name in her class, but he would go for totally off-the-wall things like I didn't like at all, one of which being Raven. I didn't want to name my daughter Raven. My sister actually has a thing for ravens; they are her favorite birds ever, so it would have made sense for her to name her daughter raven (she didn't), but for me, I just didn't like the idea. I mean, why not name her flamingo or owl while we are at it? Ravens were not special to either of us, and I didn't like the idea of just picking something that had no meaning to either of us. If we were going to do that, why not just name her spoon or fork? That's how much the name Raven meant to me. We would just be picking some random word that held no meaning to us. Probably I was being too picky, but I didn't like the name, and you only get to name your child once. So you'd better like the name: that's how I feel.
   Also, we were only looking at girl names, which I guess pissed all of his family off, because we did not know the sex of the baby. I was determined that I was having a girl, but they were not able to verify this during the ultrasound. My daughter wouldn't uncross her legs, so they couldn't see if she had girl parts or boy parts, and we didn't know that she was really a girl until I actually pushed her on out. But I knew that I was having a girl. I guess that makes no sense, but I was only able to see myself with a baby girl, so by my extremely young and naive reasoning, this was a sign that my baby was a girl.
   By the time I actually gave birth, I had had a birthday and was twenty, but still, I was young, and I was stubborn as hell. I wanted a girl so I was having a girl, and that was final. I would actually be in tears when someone argued that my baby might be a boy. Of course, I am sure that I would have loved a boy just as much in the long run, but I had a girl, so that's that. And I digress, we were talking about finding names.
   Finally, I came up with the name Rowan. My daughter is indeed named after a tree. I am a huge sci-fi/fantasy fan, and that name has roots in both (particularly, Tolkien and Anne McCaffrey, both authors I admire), and I liked the idea of my daughter being named Rowan. The rowan tree is supposed to be repellent to evil forces.
I liked the meaning of the name and what a rowan tree represented and he liked some of the ties to mythology and such, so we agreed. Rowan was the only name that we even slightly agreed on, so I was surprised when his family put up such an opposition to the name. They hated it. I spent the last half of my pregnancy defending my choice of my daughter's name, but they were really hoping for a boy, so I think they only ever backed off because they figured that a boy would negate the name. Of course, Rowan is asexual, and can be used for a girl or boy... Anyway, my mom and sister never complained, but they were on the other side of the country, so though they supported my choice, they weren't really involved in the whole name war. The only person who really supported my choice of names was my daughter's father's grandmother. She also just supported my desire to have a girl, and rooted for a girl with me. She really meant so much to me. She's passed away now, but she is on that list of people in heaven that I want to see again.
   But this is why my daughter is named after a tree. And  the thing I learned from all my issues is that if someone
is rooting for a boy, then I root for a boy for them. Of course, they are gonna love a girl just as much, but why be all in their face about you think they are having a girl when they don't know yet and they want a boy? It isn't gonna change a damn thing, and pregnant women are under enough stress as it is. Also, I don't give negative opinions about names. A name is something for the mom and the dad to decide, not the mom and dad's friends or uncles or grandma's or whoever. I really went through my pregnancy feeling ganged up on and at war; the dreaded Name Wars. I'm not about to do that to someone else. The only time I ever really protested a name was when my sister told me she was gonna name her son 'Busaba Hoobear' and honestly, she said that shit to get a reaction from me in the first place. She likes to mess with me as much as I like to mess with her. 

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