Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Name is a Name is a Name

While watching a sitcom the other night, I got a little chuckle from the following:

Dad: "(on the phone) I can't leave right now; I'm hosting my son's birthday party."

Kids (yelling): "Yay!! AAAAAAH!!"

Dad: "Who was that? Was that you, Tyler? Or, was is the other Tyler?"

I have been thinking a lot about names lately. No, we are not expecting (yet...) although I like learning the names of those family and friend's newly-born bundles of joy.

I'm talking more about people and the names, given to them at birth, that fit with their personalities, temperaments and intricacies, all while being a reflection of their family, and really, their era.

I like thinking about how what we are named determines the kind of person we become. While I don't think there are any evil names (hmm...), or that your name makes you especially nice or good at piano playing, I believe certain names perfectly fit the people who own them.

I haven't quite figured out how a name can do all this, but take me for example.

I am a Jennifer. It just fits me. It certainly comes from the time I was born (thank you, mid-80's), but was a name my mom had decided she liked years before I was a glimmer in her eye. And, it just fits who I am. I can't imagine being the same person that I am today with someone else's name.

Nicknames, too. Even with nicknames, they develop over time to truly fit the person they belong to. If we earn a nickname, it usually just fits us. Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon?

And now, my little advocacy moment:

We live in America. You can name your child whatever you want. However, I think that people should wait until their child is born before they name them. Besides the great likelihood that you will give your child a name that all of his or her friends will have, I feel you have to meet your child before you determine the name that fits all his or her unique components.

I understand, there's a lot of pressure to find this perfect name. Think about whether or not you are OK with saying "No!" or "Stop it!" before this name for the rest of your life. Think about if their kindergarten teacher will be able to pronounce it. Consider if it is prime real estate for future bullying. Sleep on it.

That's all I ask.

Your future children and all the Tylers of the world thank you.

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