Monday, July 25, 2011

And that whole naming their sons after themselves thing!

We went to a baby shower today. Those always send my brain to crazy places. In between sticking to the chairs from the humidity, and missing the badminton birdie by yards, I thought about the names all my little cousins have been amassing. Interesting, trendy names. Not sure how I feel about that.

Even though it's boundlessly embarrassing, I have to share this because I'm so tickled by the idea. Obviously if I have a girl, her name is going to be Marianne Amagi (the French allegory of liberty and the Sumerian character for freedom from enslavement, respectively -- see what I did there?), and her nickname is going to be Maggie. This is pretty exciting, because I'm terrible with girls names, they are so cripplingly tied to vogue. But now my sister can never say I never loved her!

For a boy, ah, this is much harder, because there are so many interesting names for boys. I will definitely settle on the name Walter, of course, partly for my daddy and partly as homage to Anne Shirley's dearly beloved son. (Leagues better than the name Gilbert, at least. Ugh. Gill. Bert. Just terrible.) Perhaps Laurie, too. Part a nod to the most adorable literary character of all time, part an acknowledgment of that special lady who impacted my formative years. Ah, but still, too many options.

(I don't know, are you allowed to name your son after a woman? Would your mom be offended if someone named their little boy after her? With dudes it's an ego trip, but with ladies, I don't know.)

My kids are not going to be allowed to work out the percentages of their heritage. They are Americans! This 7% Irish and 20% English and 0.2% Native American business is rubbish. My parents' genealogy is traced out, but my kids will not have access to it until they promise to not get into these "how many ethnicities can I lay claim to" contests. Then, and only then, will I brag to them how we descended from a Huran princess. Yeah, Bruce Colburn wrote a song about "my" people.

All this is totally futile, of course. That's the awesome and terrible thing about kids: they're never all yours, you have to share them with the other person who contributes the other half of their DNA. Someone who won't insist on having a say with his own children isn't worth having anyway, I suppose.

My cousin was married a few years ago, I remember his wedding well, and just as clearly I remember his wife's baby shower. Their second child is already a year old, and it's so funny to see them standing all together, my cousin and his wife looking decidedly middle aged. So comfortable. Remember when he was just fresh from college? Remember when she was new to the family functions and we wondered if she'd last? Just look at them. Time rolls right on by.

Ugh, what is the rest of my life going to be like?! I feel sick to my stomach over it all. My only coping mechanism is to just not think about it, but the execution of this strategy is abysmally difficult. That's all I've got, really. I continue to get older without quite knowing how to age well.

Oh, but you silly girl, get over yourself! You're nearly twenty. Not forty-two. (Relief sets in.)


Nicole said...

Hayley Hutchins, you may never ever stop writing.

Also, totally with you on the Gilbert thing. As for my own kids' names, I'm a dreadful waffler. Thankfully, it's not an issue yet. Although, my eldest daughter has to have the middle name "May". It's a family tradition - my middle name, and my mom's and her mom's and her mom's before that. You see. I've always liked the sound of Kensington May...

Dangit, you've got me started thinking about names again!!

Liz said...

Hayley Hutchins.

The question is clearly not: "are you allowed to name your son after a woman?"

But, HOW will your kids feel when you tell them that you named them after a literary, FICTIONAL character?


[btw, this was really amusing.]

Michael said...

No. No naming boys after women. Just . . . stop it.

But literary characters? Heck yes! As long as they're not from the lord of the rings ;)

"what is the rest of my life going to be like?!" Oh! I ask myself these questions all the time! It's scary - but exciting.

Caitriona aka Catherine said...

Miss Hayley Hutchins, you amuse me, make me smile and admire you every time I read a post of yours.
The young want to be older and the old want to be younger. Oh to be forty-two again.....just kidding.

Names: We have fun with nick names around here. My children sound like they came off the boat from Ireland and that we did too: just say it with an Irish broach Grace, Katie and Michael Mullaney and their parents Danny and Catherine. Grace and Michael were named after God and Katie after me. Hmmm. No I am not the third person of the trinity.

You are living on the edge and before I know it there
will be an invitation in the mail inviting me to your wedding.

Micah E. said...

There are only two names I thoroughly enjoy the idea of. Both of them are middle names, because you really should give your kid a normal first name (but oooh, they still have the option of going by a cool name). Book, and Author.

Anonymous said...


i think you mean bruce cockburn. just sayin'