What in the world are we going to name this child? It seems like such a momentous decision. Just hearing a person's name, you automatically get an image of what that person is like. Choosing a name seems a lot like determining this person's future, and I'm pretty intimidated by that kind of pressure. Just think about what this baby would grow up to be if we really named him "Torquil"? I imagine he'd be the drummer in a heavy metal band called "Fortuitous Bounce."
This weekend, we went to the beach and my mom had brought 2 baby naming books. "The Baby Name Wizard" has lists of different types of names: from Country & Western (Wyatt, Cassidy, and Cheyenne) to Porch Sitters (Myrtle, Bertha, Otis, and Mildred) to Mythological ("Athena," anyone?). We had a blast looking at all of the different possibilities and thinking about their connotations. "Derek" and "Jennifer" were both in the "70's-80's" category with the description (and I quote!), "If you don't choose a name for your daughter, she'll end up Jennifer." So true! Reading that list of 70's-80's names sounded like reading the names of my high school graduating class. Names really do have a life cycle, and I'm wary of sounding either too trendy or too out-of-date.
For a long time, I've been planning to name my daughter Margaret after my grandmother, Margaret Perry. Everyone who knew her called her Appie, a name that I had the honor of choosing for her (albeit as an 18 month old - I was a naming prodigy!). I've wondered if "Margaret" might sound a little too "Porch sitter"? and had imagined that Maggie would be a good nickname, but I'm learning that Maggie may be the new "Jennifer" of this generation. At least 2 people I know have named their daughters Maggie in the past 6 months. I'm not sure I'm willing to give up on the name because others have chosen it, but I also know that Appie never loved being called "Maggie" as a nickname for Margaret, so I'm thinking about other nicknames like Meg or Molly. And the book puts Margaret into the "Timeless" category with Katherine and Caroline, so maybe calling her Margaret w/o a nickname isn't as old sounding as I imagine.
Girls' names are easy - but what if we have a boy? The book had a few good options in that department too. But we're not going to get too hung up on choosing one until we can at least narrow down to girl names or boy names. And heck, I was "Baby McLean" for 3 days until the nurse finally told my parents that they couldn't remove me from the hospital without a name. I have teased them mercilessly about this for my whole life. I mean, you had 9 WHOLE MONTHS to pick out a name - was "Jenny" the first thing that jumped into your head when the nurse tried to kick you out? Could you have been any less original?! Mom & Dad, consider this my official, public, crow-eating apology. Nine months isn't nearly long enough to decide something of this significance, and sometimes we all just need a little time pressure to make a decision.