1. A word or words by which an entity is designated and distinguished from others.
*a partial definition of the word "name" by freeonlinedictionary
I had a completely different idea for today's post until I read this- a beautiful poem written by Billy Collins and posted on the blog, A Simple Life Afloat. Basically, at least on the surface, it's a poem about names. Although, I'm sure if I read it and re-read it many times, I would find a deeper meaning. But, to me, a poem about names is enough. Because I don't take names lightly. I think a name becomes so deeply embedded in a person that it becomes part of their story, their personality, who they are, what they believe in and what they are about.
Here on this blog, I use nicknames for my kids. I don't do this as a security measure. I am really not afraid of someone seeing them in one of my pictures, reading their names and then hunting them down to do them harm. Maybe I should be, but I'm not. I do it for them. Because the names I use for them here are their nicknames given to them by their dad. Using those names is a small way to keep part of their dad alive. Keeping that alive feels right to me. And I do it for them.
And their dad and I didn't take it lightly when we gave them their real names. We really thought long and hard about each one before they were born.
In the case of our daughter, Chelsi (aka Sister), her name wasn't definite until moments after her birth. She was born "back in the day" before ultrasounds were routine, so we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl. So, we had decided on Zachary for a boy and a girl would be either Tabitha or Chelsi. Without hesitation, the moment after the doctor announced, "It's a girl!",her dad called her Chelsi.
Our middle child, Jamey (aka, Eddie), came along a few years later. I had one ultrasound and we were pretty sure he was a boy. So, I begged and pleaded with his dad to name him Catlin. I LOVED that name! Not only could you call him Cat for short (which sounded really cool, I thought), it was also the name of one of my favorite soap opera characters. haha! I know,right? Kind of embarrassing to admit, but it's true! Anyway, his dad would have no part of it, so we started throwing other names around. We decided on Jamey. He is named after his uncle James (Jimmy) who had passed away several years before.
Seven years passed before our youngest child, Colbey (aka Little Man), was born. Once we knew he was a boy, we let Chelsi and Jamey play a big part in choosing his name. (That in itself meant a lot to me.) We decided to let them choose a few, then we would all narrow it down. Although their dad had his mind set on naming him Jesse, they had different ideas. As soon as I heard them say, "Hey, Mom, do you like the name Colby?" while they were looking through the baby name book, that was it for me. I/we won the Jesse/Colby battle and Colbey (we added the "e" to be more masculine and set it apart from the cheese!) it was!
All three of them have traditional,family middle names- Kay, Dale and Ray. I liked the idea of carrying on a traditional family name, although I wanted them to have their "own", unique first names.
So I often wonder if Chelsi, Jamey and Colbey would be completely different people, with different personalities and different interests in life if they would have ended up Tabitha, Catlin and Jesse. I like to think so. I like to think that the beautiful people that they are had at least a little to do with the time, effort and consideration we took in choosing the names that would identify them and set them apart from the rest of the world for the rest of their lives. That's huge, isn't it?
I hope you take time to visit the blog, A Simple Life Afloat and read the poem, The Names. You won't be sorry!
Have a wonderful end to your week ~ Juli