Why I Stopped Judging What People Name their Kids… A rose by any other name….

We have all been there. The moment when you ask, “What are you naming the baby?”

We are excited for our expecting friend and aside from what sex the baby will be, we curiously need to know the name. The moment the name slips out of the parent’s mouths, we know a decision will be made to either ‘Like’, ‘Not Like’, ‘Need time to get used to’, ‘Love’, or ‘Hate’ the name.

Heaven forbid we totally dislike the name.

“Did you hear what so and so is naming their baby…”

“I really don’t like that name…”

“That kid has to grow up with that name… poor guy…”

I have done it. Guilty as charged. Somehow your decision to name your child “that” has personally offended me…  Yes, that is a tad dramatic, but I have made my decision to dislike the name YOU chose for YOUR child.

The truth is, most kids end up rocking, for lack of a better word, their name. I will give you an example. When the Dugger’s named their last baby girl Josie, I could not believe it. Could they not have thought of another “J” name? There has to be hundreds of better names beginning with the letter “J” than Josie, right?  (Whatever your personal opinion of the Dugger’s is not relevant to my example).  Initially, this is exactly what I thought every time I heard them utter their child’s name.

Then something changed, and I realized that Josie… is a Josie. She is a bright, bubbly, happy, free-spirited child, and no other name would fit her. How could I have ever thought that Josie was a name I disliked? Would I personally like the name for my child?  No.  But that isn’t the point.

Have you ever looked through history and decided that Nero, Cleopatra, Odysseys, Rutherford, Coco, or even Oprah turned out to be awful names? Maybe even in their lifetimes they were odd ball names, but somehow these names become more than just a name… they become a person. Even names that seem boring or over used can end up being loved. Let’s use Harry Potter for example. Not a real person, I know, but his name is a bit… well, ordinary. Harry?  Like ‘hairy”? Why not name the character something more unique? Well, Harry ended up working. The Harry Potter franchise overall grossed about $25 billion dollars. Not bad for a name like Harry. Oh, and the name means “Ruler.” Ah… maybe J.K. knew what she was doing after all.

I was judged like this when I named my son Archer. Yes, my child’s name is “Archer”.  Are you already judging me?

“Are you naming your son after the show, ‘Archer’?”

“Seriously, what kind of name is that?”

“Kaytee, people are going to call him “Archie”.”

“Do you really think he will be a respected professional with that name?”

“You need to give your son a ‘normal’ name.”

“It’s not my favorite. Do you have any other choices?”

I wish I could say I named my son Archer just because I liked it.  Well, I did… I do really like it but that is not the reason.  No, I did not name my child after the show ‘Archer’, but so what if I did?  Does it matter?

Do I care that people may call my son Archie? Oh, heck no!!!! Giving nick names to children shows love. It makes his name childish like I want him to be when he is little. My daughter calls him R-CHEESE or Archie Baby. It’s cute and loved. 

No, I did not want my son to have a ‘normal’ name, or one that society considers normal.  My preference, my child.

I chose to name my son Archer after my mother.  Her name is Yvonne.  My mother’s name is amazing and it fits her. It’s beautiful, not common, and it means ‘archer.’

Have you changed your opinion of my child’s name now that I told you the meaning? Truth is… I don’t care.

I recently read an article about why you should not name your child a list of names. This article said that you cannot name your child Liam or Declan if you are not Irish. Why not? Should I have not named my daughter Elizabeth because I am not Jewish?

Name your child what you want. Even if it is Moon Unit or whatever Frank Zappa named his son. If they truly don’t like it, they can always change it when they are older. My grandmother was named Lily. When she was eighteen she changed her name to Lillian because she thought it was more formal. My uncle was named Eric Lincoln John and he changed his name to just Eric John because he felt his name was too long. Point being – when a child gets older they either become their name or they have the option to change their name to something that fits them. I changed the spelling of my nick name “Katie’ to ‘Kaytee’ 17 years ago. Katie, the common spelling, just didn’t fit me, and yes, sometimes my siblings tease me for changing the spelling of my name half way through my life.

I, on the other hand, will not decide it is my job to judge what a a parent decides to name their child. There could be a symbolic meaning, a last name, their favorite football player, a flower they love… Parents put time into what they name their child. It is not always an easy decision but it is their decision. I am sure that I will love your child whether his name be ‘Ashley’ or her name ‘Wyatt’ regardless of their name.  I promise that whatever the name you choose for your child, they will make it their own and become the name how they see fit.

I will not judge you. It is not my place… I’m talking to you, Jason Lee.  Rock on, Pilot Inspektor.

 

XO

Kaytee 

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