“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
—Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II
What’s in a name?
Well, quite a bit, actually. I obsess about them. A lot. I pour over sounds and syllables, meanings and minutiae, alliterations and associations. So it goes. I just can’t help myself. A name is sort of important.
Seifert Baby Number Six is due sooner rather than later, and I can tell you it pretty much always unfolds like this. I fixate until it hurts, and even then I can’t stop fixating. Last time, Sara and I tried to curb the pain. We set ground rules. No name discussions until one month before the due date. That probably helped. At least a little.
Six kids. Is it just me, or is that starting to sound like a lot? The trouble is Sara and I have managed to name five children now, which means we’ve already burned most every name we can agree on. I love my wife dearly, but I’m not sure our naming styles are all that compatible. Mostly, we take turns lobbing anti-aircraft missiles at each other’s name suggestions.
You want your child to like their name. You want them to be able to spell it before the fourth grade. Speaking of grade school, you shouldn’t give your child a name that ensures he or she won’t survive it. I mean, it’s a jungle out there. Life’s hard enough. Don’t start them out behind the eight ball.
There are perfectly good names in this world that just don’t move the meter. There are other names forever besmirched by having belonged to your arch nemesis in junior high school. In fact, there are arch nemesis names you hate so much you make your sister-in-law pinky swear she’ll never date a boy who answers to it. Then what does she do? She marries one.
What’s the big deal? Some of you may or may not have named your children things I wouldn’t wish on my arch nemesis. But, hey, they’re your kids. In the end, those kids probably still end up being kind of cute or maybe even a little endearing and then there’s a chance the name doesn’t seem quite so bad after all. No pressure, right?
So, it’s a lot to think about, and I have. We might even have a name all picked out. I’m just not going to say it out loud. Not yet. Stay tuned. The due date is December 26th.