Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I remember many years back hearing about Meg Ryan adopting a daughter, naming her, and then maybe a year later, changing the kid's name to something else. Because, according to Meg Ryan, she just wasn't a Lily or a Ruby but was now whatever new name had caught her fancy.

It seemed a weird if not potentially cruel thing to do, but perfectly in keeping with celebrity whimsy. I mean, they can't wear the same dress twice. Why would we expect them to stay true to their progeny's given name?

So where am I going with this?

It's not that I don't like my son's name.

I do.

I just wasn't my first choice.

My first choice was something that Caleb wouldn't get on board with, but Declan was his favorite. The more I said Declan out loud and in my head, it grew on me, and his first choice combined with my second seemed like the winner.

The baby came, the baby was named, and most of the family seemed to like it, even more than my first choice.

And six months later, I read about the impending birth of an acquaintance's son, baby Fox.

It was a like a punch to the gut.

It was the name I wanted for my son. It was cute and irreverent and a name I'd loved since my obsession with the X Files and all things Fox Mulder. Coupled with one of my favorite movies, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, the name just seemed ideal for the newest Sweazy.

But there was the fear of a lifelong deluge of Fox stuffed animals and figurines that I would have to haul by the sackload after each birthday and Christmas. The inevitable playground taunt that would send my little Fucks Sleazy home crying. (Fucks and Harlot, what a pair, right?)

But still. Fox!

I'm not sure what makes me sadder - that gut realization I should have fought harder for the name or that I have a much larger issue with not being confident with the choices I have made.

My Declan is my Declan. It's a great name. And let's be honest, there's a reason all that bureaucratic red tape exists because of flip floppers like me. I'll take my baby D over months of paperwork with the social security and birth certificate offices.

Any of you have a name that was the Name that Got Away?


  1. I wanted to name my third kid, if it came out a boy, the same name as my husband, Alec. I love that name, and have always loved it. (It was on my radar as a distant uncle was also an Alec.)

    BUT my husband was having none of it. Considering the first two got the names I knew they needed, I gave him that much room. We named our son Adam.

    Ironically, I now slip up and call my husband Adam all the time. o.0

  2. Not really sure yet. I'm only up to kid #1 so if the next one isn't a girl I don't know what i'll do cause all I do is obsess over girl names. My latest obsession is Mikela (I think I'd spell it that way) but I know the feeling. However, we really need to take these kids into consideration when they grow up, Fox? Hmmm great name in theory but kids can be so cruel!

  3. I never planned to name Jiro, Jiro. In my mind, I was humoring Warren. Besides, I was so sure he was a girl! Then he came out all boy and I said, "Hi, Jiro." WTF? But then, yeah, it took awhile for me to feel like that was really his name. I called him by his middle name for awhile. But now, he is all Jiro.

    I so wanted a little Keiko or a Piper. Oh well.

    And Fox really is the best name ever for the Forresters, don't you think?

  4. You know that Stella thinks we should have named our baby Declan, right? A stranger asked her, "oh, what's your baby brother's name?" And she said Carter Declan. Fox is adorbs too, but according to Stella you made the right decision. Her parents. Not so much.

  5. No offense to your friend, but Fox is not a person's name. Declan is a good name.

  6. @Karen Alec IS a great name. Not to stir the pot or anything.
    @Loredana It seemed to suit Fox Mulder just fine :)
    @Richard August is awesome. But it just doesn't fit Genevieve, you know?
    @Stacey I love that you just knew. I didn't have that gut feeling when we chose his name, but now it would feel wrong to call him anything else. Except George, which Harlow still insists on calling him every now and again.
    @Katie Can I have Stella? Please?
    @Sassy Fox Mulder is a person! Sorta...You are absolutely right about Declan. As usual.

  7. Gina and I debated over baby names for longest time. I am glad we chose Harper, but I was big on Vivian or Audrey. 2 weeks ago an old GF had a girl and named her Vivian so glad we didnt' go with that.

  8. @Medusa I tried all of those names for all of these kids.

  9. Oh, this is a topic about which I could talk for hours. My Courtland is named for his late grandfather, but he was very nearly an Ames, and, if I'd had my way, he'd have been a Barrett (heard of it via Katie!) or a Charlie. I spent the first six months of his life being sure that we'd created obstacles for him with his unusual name and looking into how to change it. Now, it seems to fit him....though he is not just Courtland now, but also Court, Cort-Cort, C.J., Boo, Bug, and many others. Fox is cool but I believe Declan is the superior choice....and there is always room for a nickname in his life.

  10. My sister Christina declared she HATED her name when she was 2. Apparently, my parents asked her how she would have named herself, sort of as a joke, and she said Ina. She's been Ina ever since. For a while, she even considered going through the legal procedure and making it official but then realized it didn't matter because everybody already knew as Ina anyway. So, you don't worry about it. If he doesn't like Declan, he will change it to something else. Maybe even Fox.