Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Baby Name Game

Preston, Weston, Will, Grant, Kaden, Bennett, Nicolas, Everett, Ryker, and Ashton.

According to, this is my child's competition.  These were the top 10 baby boy names of 2013. While I love that we've sort of shifted away from the more traditional John and Alexander toward the more unique names, I'm still at a loss. None of these names fit my little guy. I know this even though I haven't quite met hit yet.  But the kicks I feel are not the kicks of a Kaden. Definitely not a Preston. And Weston reminds me of the hotel we stayed at on our honeymoon.

There's a lot of pressure in finding the right name. I mean, you're making a huge decision for a little guy who will one day be a big guy with his name on a business card, or a book, a work of art, or a building. There could be a medical procedure named for him, or a newly discovered planet. The possibilities are endless and you want his name to work with all of them.

Not only that, but I grew up with a non-English name. ANI. It's short and simple, but did you know, it's pronounced "Ahh-knee"? Not Annie, like the little orphan. Not Anne-eye. And it's definitely not Arnie (though I have been called that, seriously). It's not Anne or Amy, either. And while I have spent the last 27 years correcting many, many people, I still love my name. I love that it's traditional - from Armenia. I love that no matter how American I am and how proud I am of that, my name ties my to my roots. And while it is mispronounced a LOT, it's simple enough to not be completely butchered. There are far worse things to be called than Arnie.

I was also not the only Ani growing up. Apparently it was the number 1 Armenian American name in 1987, because when I was among my Armenian friends, I wasn't just "Ani," I was "Ani B." There was also "Ani K." and "Ani M.,"  "Ani N." and "Ani S." We all banded together under a common name and identity. And while that had it's perks too, it leads me to my next issue with the top 10 list.  If these are the top 10 names everyone is choosing, why would I want to choose one? I don't want my kid to fall in a long like of Everett's or Ryker's at school.

It's a tough job this name choosing business. You want to but original and unique but not far out, but you don't want to be so common. You want something that carries your roots with you, but not something that will get butchered everyday. Your kid doesn't have to love it, but you'd like it if he didn't rush out to change it on his 18th birthday, and you hope that if he doesn't it will grow on him and he'll appreciate the love (and hours of thought) that went in to choosing it. It has to be a name you like saying, and one he'll like hearing. Oh the pressure.

We're working on it. No, we aren't telling! It's a tough enough game figuring this out with our two, often opinionated, very indecisive selves. We've decided to keep our mouths shut until our little guy is here to help us solidify our decision (that is... once we actually make a decision).  One thing I will say for sure. It's not on the top 10 list!