When I was 11 weeks, I had an appointment with a counselor at my OB/GYN clinic. It’s a part of their complete care program, just to make sure you are ready/are getting ready emotionally and physically for the baby. She asked me basic questions about my husband and myself. Nothing seemed odd until she asked for the babies primary ethnicity. I told her there this no dominant one, just American I guess. She looked at me funny so I explained. I am all white—Polish, Italian, French Canadian, and a little German. And my husband is half Fijian-Indian and half Hispanic, with a little Caribbean-Indian and Native American. So she checked every box but African-American. And before she could say anything I said, “We already know we made an American mutt.” She just laughed.
When it came time to pick names for our baby, we wanted to incorporated both our heritages in there somehow. I wanted to get relatives names in if possible. My dad did not allow any relatives’ names for my brother’s or my first name. He said that everyone deserves the right to be their own identity and not have to live up to someone else’s name. I think that argument is only valid if you force your child to grow up exactly where you did and live the same life you did. My dad knew that we were going to live completely lives in completely places than him and my mom, so it was never going to be a problem. I know that my son will have a completely different life than my husband or me, so I am not worried about him needing to live up to something either.
To honor both our heritages and families, we decided to name our son Jack-Avinash Miguel.
I picked a girl’s name years ago, Terrie, after my amazing aunt who passed away 8 years ago. I told Michael that it was really important to me, as a way for my mom and I heal from her passing. He respected my wishes and agreed. As much as I dream of having a sweet little girl one day, I always wanted a boy first. I told Michael he could have final say on a boy’s name to be fair. So I told him all the names I liked, all of which he rejected. He said I was picking “too white” names. I reminded the baby is half white….but I understood his point. He wants his son’s name to reflect something special to him too. So I pulled up babynames.com and started reading off names.
After about an hour of him saying no to everything and me about to lose my temper, I saw the name Jack. Jack is the male version of my mom’s name, so I would honor my family. And Michael always speaks fondly of his dad’s best friend Jack who passed away several years ago. So I suggested Jack and he finally said yes!
As for the hyphen name thing, it’s something my in-laws started. My husband’s hyphen name is also Avinash (Hindi for indestructible) and his middle name is his dad’s name. I liked this idea, so we decided to continue the tradition. We both love the name Avinash so decided to use that as Jack’s hyphen name. Then obvious middle name was Michael (which also happens to be my Dad’s name). But we decided to let him be his own Michael and get his Hispanic heritage in by doing Miguel.
We know that is a long and complicated name, but we put a lot of thought and love into it. Hopefully one day he will understand and respect all the names we chose for him. We had some people try to convince us to change one or more of the names, but at the end of the day we know he is our baby. If you and your partner settle on a name, that is all that matters. When that baby is born, everyone will be so in love with him or her they wont even care if you call them Mud. There is the trend of not revealing the name until the baby is born, that way no one can disrespect your choice or taint your opinion of a name you love. I don’t think it’s a bad idea actually. What you chose for your baby is your own business, so there is no need to involve anyone else really. We told everyone the name because honestly, I am pretty stubborn and no one can tell me what to do 🙂 If I want to name my baby Mud, you better believe I would.
I think it’s fascinating why people are named the thing they are. I am named after Elizabeth Montgomery’s character on Bewitched. My husband was name after Saint Michael. My grandpa and all his brothers have the initials RJB. All my paternal cousins have family names or variations of them. I know someone named after a Vietnamese comic book character their dad liked. My friend even named her daughter Diamonte, because she is her precious gem. It takes all kinds to make the world go round.
Check out the Most Popular Baby names for 2013 according to Babynames.com, nothing crazy but some of the spellings are a bit of stretch for me (Rhys/Reece?)
Or try these Unusual (But Cool) Boy Names, not sure how I feel about Lockwood…
And these 3 Hot Trends in Baby Names, the Valedictorian of the class of 2032 could be Charlie and her quarterback boyfriend is Wolfgang!
If you have a interesting story behind your name or a crazy heritage, let me know in the comments. I really do find it all fascinating!