What’s in a name?
So, what is the baby’s name anyways? Daniel, Alex? What happened to James?
Well, let me tell you. This is actually a story about my own dad’s name.
This is a public telling of a family story, which as far as I am concerned is, at this point, mythology.
(that is to say the veracity of the story is irrelevant, family members who read this and know the truth are welcome to comment and confirm or deny the story as I have it)
When my father was born, so the story goes, there was a disagreement between my grandmother and my grandfather about what his name should be. My grandmother wanted Alexander and was looking forward to calling my father by the contraction Sandy. My grandfather on the other hand wanted Andrew. So, when the papers went in, my grandfather being the one filling them in, registered my father Andrew James. My grandmother in her infinite wisdom ignored the registered name and called my father Sandy anyways. The very name by which he was known his entire life.
Now the time came when I was starting my own family, and in discussion with Kerri-Jo, I proposed that we right the ancient wrong done to my fathers name and name our boy (if there was one) Alexander James. There was some discussion of this and it was agreed to in principal. It was noted at the time that the name Daniel was favored by Kerri-Jo but righting an ancient wrong was a noble thing to do and besides James was a name both our father’s shared.
Our first child was born and was a girl and the boys name remained on the shelf. A male cousin was born to Kerri-Jo’s brother and given the middle name James. Now as our second child became imminent, again the debate was raised as to the naming of the child. Names for boys and girls were discussed and Alexander James was agreed to again in principal for a boy. We weren’t worried about the gender of the baby, sex was not known until he was born. The boy arrives, healthy and whole, the best that we could wish for, and now the discussion of name continues to sound like Alexander James, there is even a blog posting using that name (before it is registered). The paperwork is obtained and Kerri-Jo is filling out the paperwork and has a change of heart. She LOVES the name Daniel, and James has been taken, could we name the boy Daniel Alexander? I am disappointed. I had hoped that the name we’d been discussing for so long would be the one. I was looking forward to memorializing my father (and hers actually) in this way (both fathers are no longer living). We discuss it some more.
In the end the paperwork was again the deciding factor. Kerri-Jo filled in the paperwork, and one morning when I’m not paying attention she gets me to sign it. Now at the time she made some effort to make me pay attention so that I would realize what name was being registered. I didn’t look (I was distracted I’m not sure by what, most likely Emma Claire) and signed for Daniel Alexander.
Let me be clear. I was not duped and I am not disappointed. The boy is wonderful. He is growing like a weed. He smiles and giggles, he even cooed like babies are supposed to (Emma never did). He currently weighs about 22 pounds and is approaching 5 months old. He’s teething up a storm and really wants to eat what we’re eating now. It’s getting so I can’t eat dinner with him in my lap without dinner being out of his reach, he’s quite as determined as his sister was at this age.
He has his grandfather’s name (the right one that is) and we are in love with him as we are with Emma. I can not ask for more than this.