By now we've all heard the news about the new royal baby and her fittingly royal moniker (Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, for anyone living under a rock). I'm curious, though—do you think Will and Kate had a hard time choosing the right name for their little princess? Did they spend late nights bickering over nicknames and namesakes? Because I'm fairly certain my husband and I can count naming our three kids as one of the more trying exercises in frustration during our nearly nine-year marriage.
The first time around, we were textbook first-timers. Armed with a copy of “More Names Than You Ever Thought Humanly Possible (and One!)” and plenty of youthful exuberance, I remember paging through it obsessively and creating lists. I'd scrawl first and middle combinations in notebooks like a junior high schooler in love. My husband humored me but clearly didn't share my ever-increasing anxiety over the fact that we were going to have to NAME A HUMAN. What if we picked a dud? What if it didn't suit him? What if she was met with raised eyebrows and snickers the rest of her life because of the name her parents put on her birth certificate? How were we supposed to deal with that kind of pressure?! And why wasn't my husband as alarmed about all this as I was?!
Naming a baby is hard. It's the first gift you give your child; this tiny stranger you've only just met, whose eyes lock on yours and whose tiny fist grabs instant hold of your heart, in this moment, is yours to identify. Who wouldn't feel at least a slight uncertainty in the face of such great responsibility?
So, we write and re-write lists. Decide, then change our minds. Shoot down each other's favorites and swear we'll never agree on anything. But when the world stops and we gaze at that tiny miracle, we take our first leap of faith in the journey that is parenthood. We do our best, and we trust that's enough.
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(We settled on Meredith Jaymes, Nolan Curtis, and Felicity Quinn for our three. Erica and her husband choose Kya Rose and Gavin Donald for their two.)