name game

The name Ruby was never on my list.

Well, to clarify, it was never on my "Barbie list." Or my dolly list. Or my MASH list. Or my "Let's play house" list.

Those lists contained names like Victoria (Vikki), Lauren, Morgan, Heather, and sometimes C.J. (no idea what the initials stood for - just liked 'em). It was easy to pick names as a child. And I loved poring over baby name books. I'd often check out "Beyond Jennifer and Kevin" from the library. I liked it because it had my name in the title, and it also acknowledged how boring it was. So vanilla, so blah. Why couldn't I have been a Samantha or a Cassandra or a Monique?

I was convinced that I would name my daughter Victoria. After all, no other name could compare in terms of elegance, beauty, and dignity. Of course, today the name sounds completely dated and weird to me (no offence if you're a Victoria, or if you have a baby named Victoria -- it's just no longer my style). The names I love now are the new classics, I suppose. All of the "old lady" names that are coming back into vogue -- Harriet, Isla, and Pearl were all on my list this time around.

Naming a second child is tougher than naming the first. The names sort of have to go together but can't be too matchy-matchy. I really love the name Josephine, but another "J" name in our family took us directly in the shadow of the Duggars (they have about 42 kids, all with "J" names). The names have to be of the same "feel," too. It might be strange to have a super trendy name alongside a very traditional name. We considered the fact that we would have a Jack and a Ruby, and wondered if people would immediately think of the guy who shot Lee Harvey Oswald (I guess if you didn't before, you will now, huh?). But we loved both names, and I just introduce my kids as "Ruby and Jack."

Lately, I've been thinking about what a third child would be named -- or, heaven help me, what a third and fourth would be named. This is COMPLETELY hypothetical at this point. Please do not even begin to think that we're expecting, or trying to be expecting. We haven't slept in four months. There is no trying to be expecting. There is only trying to be sleeping.

I love visiting name websites like Nameberry and You Can't Call It It. I'm fascinated by what other people name their kids. You-neek spellings and made-up names make me crazy. I'm all for a little creativity, but Zsophya? Really? I saw a show on TLC a while back about a "Pregnancy Concierge" who assembled a panel of experts, along with subsequent  focus groups, for a set of parents who wanted the perfect name for their pending arrival. In fact, they talked about the name as a "brand" and spend an inordinate amount of time and money trying to come up with the perfect moniker. I forget what they picked, only that it was the least favorite of both the experts and the focus groups. Guess that was money well spent.

So far, I haven't come up with anything that I'm totally in love with for our little family. I've heard so many beautiful names lately from Mamas that are expecting, or have recently had babes. We know an Iris and a Hazel, a Vivian and an Opal. I've heard babies-to-be who will be called Ingrid and Solvay. Jack has friends named Eliza and Lucy, Elsie and Lyra. Lovely names all, but spoken for.

So many beautiful names... Maybe we'll have to get a fish.

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