Saturday, October 25, 2008

Naming My Girls

Growing up a Jennifer in the 70's and 80's, one thing I knew for darn sure is that my kid would have a more unique name than me. I was never the only Jenny in the class; there was always a Jenny A., Jenny B., Jenny T., ad infinitum.

When I found out that my oldest was going to be a girl, I pored over name books, made lists, solicited opinions, and pondered. We rejected Sophie Anne, when my uncle remarked that it sounded like a French hooker's name (but I still like it). With great pride, my husband and I finally settled on Hannah Elizabeth. Classic, non-nicknameable, and unique without being weird. Perfect.

The nurse who handed me my tiny, swaddled baby on that snowy February morning remarked matter-of-factly, "This is the sixth Hannah Elizabeth we've had since January first!" And, sure enough, while nowhere near the glut of 1970's Jenny's, there has usually been one other Hannah in her elementary school classes. Damn it.

Our second daughter was named for my grandmother: Kathleen Grace. The name went well with my older daughter's, and I loved the idea of honoring my Mamaw, who has been such a beloved figure in my life. We call her Kate, which I think has that perfect balance of strong and feminine, and reminds me of Katharine Hepburn.

Luckily, we had no boys. My husband was determined to use the name Hamilton, despite my conviction that a kid saddled with that name would get his butt kicked on the playground on a regular basis. I think I would have had to play the "I Suffered To Give Birth To Your Child" card, so I could name him myself.

4 comments:

Mrs.D said...

I think you chose beautiful names. I was almost Hannah. I wish I were. Sigh. And I totally agree with you on the Hamilton thing. Yikes. ;-)

jenn said...

I know! Can't you just see him being called "Ham 'n Eggs" or "Hambone" or something? Poor kid.

Capegirl said...

My husband wanted to name our oldest Otto! He is named Matthew. The youngest boy is Morgan with my maiden name, talk about a problem. Ever since Morgan Fairchild everyone thinks Morgan is a girl's name, when it fact it is a boy's name that has been usurped.

Sabrae said...

Unique names.... hmmmm how do you think I felt being the ONLY Sabrae! lol I still to this day have not met someone with my name.....