If you spend any time in a place where people’s full names are announced over a PA system (such as a college graduation), you’ll find yourself occasionally asking “What were his parents thinking?” If you’re like me, you’ll say it aloud. Immediately after, you’ll hope his parents aren’t sitting right in front of you!
Your first act as a parent – after the conception, that is – is to give your child a name. This is not something to be taken lightly. Your child will carry this label for a lifetime. Even worse, he/she will carry it to middle school! However, it seems that some parents put very little thought into nomenclature. I have seen some bad baby names that should qualify as child abuse.
I’ve met Robin Hood, Holly Wood and Autumn Summers. I don’t know what their parents were thinking, but I do know that Robin legally changed his name as an adult. I can’t say that I blame him. It does make me wonder how much he endured before resorting to changing his name. And why do we make fun of a person’s name when clearly we should be making fun of his parents?
Let’s say that you loved your first car so much that you want to name your kid after that ’67 Chevy Nova. If your last name is Cain, you cannot name your child Nova! If your name is Dover, you cannot name your kids Ben and Eileen. I won’t even get into the list of life-ruining names that occur when one combines euphemistic first names like Harry and Peter with last names like Butts and Bush.
If I were allowed only one piece of advice to pass on to an expectant parent, it would be to take just a minute out of your life and say the kid’s name out loud. Listen carefully. Michael Amity and My Calamity sound the same. Don’t name your kid My Calamity.
Secondly, write down their initials. Make sure they don’t spell anything. Monogramming is very trendy right now, but not for the Amy Sue Smiths of the world.
All I’m saying is, love your kids enough to not saddle them with a lifetime of teasing, bullying and having to constantly explain “Yes, that’s my real name.” Not to mention having to deal with immature people who can’t help but laugh out loud every time they hear it. Not that I know anyone like that.