What’s In A Name?

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings

If you haven’t noticed already, we live our lives like an open book (Blog, meet World. World, meet Blog). Between all the online self promotion a person can do, we Friedmans utilize it all. From our baby blog to our Facebook pages, putting ourselves out there has never been an issue. And that’s just online!

As a woman, I’m not shy about the belly. Hey, it’s the first time in my life I don’t have to worry about sucking in (not that I can anymore, anyway). I’m not trying to hide the bump and when other women want to cop a feel, I don’t get offended like some moms-to-be. I know that most people really like pregnant ladies and babies and I’m happy to oblige a belly grab. I guess I should qualify that I’m okay with women I actually know touching the tummy. If I’ve never met you, then that’s just weird. See? I do have boundaries.

And when it comes to those in our inner circles like family members and close friends, if they want to hear the details of the pregnancy and the doctors’ appointments, we’re happy to share. There’s nothing too personal since it’s our belief that the whole experience is natural and normal for man and womankind.

There is just one thing we are keeping secret, though. And that’s the name of our daughter. Early on in the pregnancy, we easily agreed on the first name. It’s a classic and timeless name that I’ve always loved. When Bryan heard it, he felt it was right for our baby girl. No fighting, no convincing. It just clicked with us. But we also decided just as early on that we would keep the name to ourselves for a number of reasons.

The most obvious is that many people feel it’s okay to give their opinions — good and bad — about the name. Frankly, we just didn’t want to hear from anyone that they knew a XXX back in junior high and gee, she suffered from life threatening halitosis; or that so-and-so had a college roommate with that name and man, what a biatch. But even positive associations can be awkward just by the nature of not knowing the commenter’s frame of reference. Ever been told “OMG, you totally look like my friend’s cousin I met at the beach party and you guys are so identical, it’s freaky!!!!!!!!!” ? Yeah, it’s weird, because then you’re always thinking, “Hmmm, I’d like to be the judge of that.” So, unsolicited opinions and associations are small reasons why we’ve chosen not to share the name with anyone.

We also just feel like it’s a lot of pressure to name a person! We went through turmoil just trying to come up with a perfect name for Princeton (who wears his doggie name swimmingly, we believe!), so it’s definitely hard to name a child who will carry the name for life. What if she doesn’t like it? What if she’s born and she doesn’t look anything like the name? Bryan and I are not fickle people, but it’s definitely hard to commit to a name. And while we’re pretty sure “the one” is “the one,” we want to be absolutely sure and utilize the whole pregnancy before finally signing her autograph on her behalf at the hospital.

Bottomline, our baby is still cooking. She’s got 18 more weeks to do what she needs to do in there before making her way into the world. She’s not yet complete and each week she grows new human attributes and elements that will make her personality sparkle. I wouldn’t serve a dinner and declare “bon appetit!” before the timer goes off. So it just feels right that we should avoid snacking and instead chow down when the whole meal is served. Okay, okay, so I’m comparing our baby to food — again! — but that shouldn’t be surprising coming from a 24/7 hungry lady. You can be sure that when we announce her arrival, we’ll also announce her name.

So as our little family begins to grow, we want to save one thing that we can enjoy and play with before the rest of the world eats it up — and that’s her name. Every day, people ask us what we’re naming our daughter and I always make a joke about being those annoying people who keep the name a surprise. They are always so understanding and for that we are thankful. I’m sure these 4.5 months will fly by and before we all know it, we’ll be sick of hearing “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” (No, that’s not her name. And it’s not Cindy or Jan either).

On some hot summer day not too far from now, we’ll introduce her to the world and introduce the world to her. After all, as our daughter, it’s more than likely she’ll also be an open book.

  1. Marilyn Hollander
    3/31/2011 9:43 PM

    I totally understand about the name. It’s nice to have something that’s just for the two of you. It’s also nice to know that I’m not the only mom-to-be who is completely un-offended by family and friends saying hello to the “bun in the oven,” with a little pat or rub. I always knew it was because they were excited about the future munchkin, and were just sharing their joy with me. So, I am officially asking permission to say “hello” to the mystery guest the next time I see you two.