Thursday, May 7, 2015

Who Stole My Baby Name?

This past week with the birth of The United Kingdom’s new royal baby I’ve been struck by how possessive people can get over the names they choose for their children. I’ve actually seen very upset people posting on Facebook and in the comments sections on stories related to the little girl’s birth. Reality check, folks…You’re up set at a young couple who, in some cases, live thousands of miles away. You do not know these people and will never know them, yet you’re irate that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose the same name for their daughter you chose for yours. You didn’t invent the name. It has been part of this couple’s family for hundreds of years. Even the Duke’s uncle, the Earl of Spencer, released a snarky tweet about the similarity between the name of his 2 year old daughter and his young great-niece. (Dude! You have seven kids. The potential for overlap really isn’t their fault.)
Her Royal Highness, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge

I do understand, to some extent. As a parent I know how much we agonize over the selection of a name for our children. I know we did. We took a book with over 100,000 names in it and two different colored highlighters. We each went through and highlighted the names we liked. Then we made a list of the ones we both liked and started narrowing it down. Was there an embarrassing nickname that could be tagged on the child? How did it sound with our last name? Could we think of a decent middle name to go with it? If we said the name 100 times a day would we get sick of it? (This happened to me with the name Collin. Loved it, but after trying it out over the course of a day decided I couldn’t see myself saying it over and over.)

Again if you’re anything like us, we turned next to the Social Security site and checked to see how popular the name was. We wanted to try to avoid having our child be one of several kids in the classroom with the same name. For our son, the name we chose was down below 150 on the popularity list. For our daughters, neither name we chose cracked the top 100, and one of them was nearly at 800th place. 

As it turns out all of this was in vain. We named our son, Aidan. The year of his birth it was below 150th place. Two years later it cracked the top ten and has stayed there. And if I count in all the almost Aidan’s… Caden, Braden, Jaden, Hayden, etc., half the boys his age turn when we call his name. (In my defense, I have never watched Sex in the City.)

Our daughter Taryn’s name was 797th place the year she was born. It hasn’t really changed, but her twin?  Have mercy! When our Sadie Jo was born, Sadie hadn’t cracked the top one hundred. This year it has risen to 50th place and this doesn’t count the number of spelling derivatives out there. Just the one’s spelled the same. A friend of mine’s daughter even chose Sadie for her daughter. I joked that they had stolen our name, but was I upset?

Not really. A little disappointed and ego bruised that my names hadn’t been as unique and as different as I thought they would be when I chose them, but not upset. Getting angry or snippy or down right insulting about someone else using the name you chose is just ridiculous. As I said before, you didn’t invent the name. Unless you shook up the Scrabble letters and let them fall and created a name from them, someone else probably thought of the name too. And you didn’t trademark the name, which personally I think shouldn’t be legal (*cough* Kylie and Kendall Kardashian). 

So the next time someone uses the name you chose for your child don’t get snarky. Just realize it simply confirms your belief it is an awesome name.