In Cherokee tradition, a baby isn't named until they have a naming ceremony. The tribe elder provides a name to the new member of the family through divine inspiration and the assistance of the ancestors. Being part Cherokee, I may want to subscribe to this tradition. Why? Discussing the name we want to give to our still-loading child has become a daily conversation.
I never thought when I became pregnant, one of the most difficult things we would have to do would be thinking about a name for our child. I was nervous about breastfeeding, getting the house ready, understanding what all of those gadgets were at Babies R Us, and ensuring we got the safest everything for the baby. But, this naming thing is hard. And, it is even harder when you give in to the temptation and look through baby name books or read through the popular names for the year in a magazine. (As a side note, I have discovered the fad this year is down with the letter "i." If a name once had an "i" in it, it has now been replaced with a "y." Apparently my mum was 36 years ahead of her time with my name.)
I have learned - the hard way - not to discuss our top choices for names with others. Everyone wants to ask you, "What names have you come up with?" They are expecially curious when they find out that we don't want to know the gender of our little one so we have to brainstorm two sets of names. It is bad to answer this question with any of the names we are in love with at the moment. Let me repeat - bad. You feel good if the questioning individual loves them too, but if they are less than pleased...the smirk, wrinkled nose or thin line of lip can be heartbreaking.
Note to others: don't ask an expecting couple what names they are considering unless you can put on a genuine smile, no matter the answer. The mother's hormones are zooming around the edge of lunatic and the father is probably barely holding on to sanity himself. Be kind.
So, you might be thinking..."find out the gender and make this process easier on you." You would think that would be a solution. But, we went to a class at the hospital earlier this week filled with couples who were all having girls and already had a name picked out. My go-against-the-norm self was proud I was having my own little revolution in this age of planning gone way too far. (yes, I said it. me. the planning freak)
The day we head to the hospital to deliver our Baby Dragon into the world, we will have a list of names with us - yes. But, I don't want to be attached to one name. I am hoping we can engage in a modified naming ceremony. I want to look at the baby in my arms and find an intuition or inspiration that will deliver the name to us.
Perhaps this is too idealistic, but I am going with it. I feel like settling on a name right now, would be like looking at a blank canvas and providing the soon-to-be-created painting a name. It just wouldn't work.
I know we will continue to make our list of scientists, engineers, composers and artists to provide some enlightenment and ideas for our darling baby. But, I look forward to the actual ceremony of finding just the right name when he or she is finally blinking up at us with a whole world of discovery ahead.
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