Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What is in a Name?

By Christina VanGinkel

Choosing a name for your newborn is easy for some, difficult for others, and downright impossible for a few. I have even heard of infants leaving the hospital with no name yet listed on the birth certificate. Different reasons exist across the board for why a certain name was chosen. It may be a grandparent's name revisited, or some other well-loved adult. It could be a revival of a name that has a lot of ethnic reasoning behind it. It could have been picked out of a search through baby name books because of the meaning it represents. Some parents follow trends, and name their child from the group of popular names that always changes from year to year. And, sometimes a name is just picked, after much thought and deliberation between the parents, from a list that is constantly changing, in search of the perfect name for their child to live with the rest of his or her life.

My daughter wanted her son to be named after her husband, making him a junior. It so happened that her husband's middle name was also her grandpa's and her brother's middle name, so the naming of her son was even more inspired than she had ever thought it would be. She knew that she would name a son after her husband before she knew who her husband was or if she would ever have a child for sure. I do not think she was ever clear in her mind of a girl's name, other than to inform me that she would not be naming a daughter the name I had wished to name her. That was before my husband got to the nurses before me and made sure she was listed as Rebecca instead of Reva, like in the soap opera Guiding Light. My daughter has informed me countless times that she would not let me name anything, and she is forever grateful that her dad was there to name her!

Anyway, upon her son's birth, to differentiate between the two, they took to calling him by the initials that stood for his first name and the acronym junior. Hence, DJ was his name. As he reached 18 months of age, they made a concerted effort to tell him his 'real name' and he can proudly recite his full legal name now when asked.

So imagine her surprise when she had phoned me the other day and said that DJ had something to tell me. He was going to recite his full name, as he had been doing so for her for several weeks. He got on the phone, and when I asked him his name, he proudly told me his name was Ichabod! Ichabod? Yes, you heard right. His daddy had been calling him that in a playful way, asking him if his name was Ichabod, to which DJ would reply, 'No Daddy" and then recite his name in full correctly. Somewhere along this timeframe, little DJ developed a sense of humor, or should I say defined his sense of humor, and renamed himself with this delightfully silly name.

We all know its a phase, or so we hope, but in the meanwhile, the last few days he will not tell you his name when asked without first teasing you a bit that his name is Ichabod. I bet you my daughter's list of dream names for her firstborn never included Ichabod!

No comments: