We decided to take a break from the debates this time around and go for something most parents (most people, really) love to talk about: Names. Where do they come from? Why did you/would you choose them? Come read our stories and share yours.
Editor’s note: Today’s feature is the newest installment of our parenting column written by two sets of Richmonders: Jorge and Patience Salgado (veteran parents of four gorgeous children), and Ross and Valerie Catrow (parenting rookies who have only been doing this “raising a child thing” for a little while). Check back fortnightly to watch them discuss/agree/disagree/throw down over all kinds of parenting issues, Richmond-related and beyond.
Today’s question: How did you pick your kid’s name?
The Salgados: I love Lucy
It never occurred to me that we might actually have to pick a girl name. I was convinced I was a mother of boys and always would be, but the ultrasound said otherwise. Jorge walked around in a fog the next few days, “A girl, really? A girl!” like I was carrying an alien or something.
“How about we name her Peace?” I suggested. I really, honest-to-god, loved the idea.
“Ummm, no.” he said, along with our two young sons who were five and two at the time.
I was mildly devastated but kept looking at the baby name book. I kicked around Jamie for a while, but the only Jamie I had known was kind of mean and was, well, very easy with the boys and such. Name association kills all the good ones.
“Lila, Linda, Lucy…” I read aloud through the list.
“Stop! Lucy, I love Lucy!” Josiah, our oldest yelled. We laughed and kept going but the seed had been planted in his five-year-old heart, even our toddler was on board. Every name conversation after included a lobbying session by the shorties.
My due date was just a week away and we still had not decided on a name. The next day I was feeling particularly tired and weird. I called my midwife that evening to fill her in on the strange feelings, a sort of heads up that I might need her in the next few days. I didn’t think too much more about it. Jorge brought home take out barbeque and Napoleon Dynamite for a quiet Friday night. Forty-five minutes into the movie I realized I was having a very hard time concentrating on Pedro for President.
Duh, maybe it was because I was having regular contractions?
Everything was kind of a fast blur after that. We called our midwife who was on her way as we had planned to have a homebirth. A friend quickly came over to help while I paced and Jorge cleaned out the birthing tub. Before I knew it, I was on my hands and knees starting to think this baby was not going to wait for any midwife or a water birth. Our friend took this as a sign to take our boys to the neighbors, except they weren’t home. The midwife came and just seven minutes later the boys walked into the room just as I caught their new sister. (Yes, I caught her by myself; it was like the biggest, bad ass moment of my life.)
Their eyes wide as saucers and happy to be there, Jorge hugged them both and very spontaneously said, “Well guys, what’s her name?”
“Lucy!” They shouted at the same time.
She was never a Peace; it is almost laughable now. There was nothing peaceful about the birth, the baby, or our lives since that day. It was a perfect beginning and introduction to Lucy, who embodies the meaning of her name which is “light.” Chalk up one more to the shorties who always seem to go straight to the heart of knowing.
The Catrows: A big name for our little man
When choosing names after I found out I was pregnant, Jackson was the only boy name suggested or even thought of. We simply always knew that if we ever had a son, his named would be Jackson. Case closed, no argument from either side (for once).
And when our child revealed his boy bits at birth (we opted to not find out the sex beforehand), Jackson became his name. Well, his full first name… which he is rarely called. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
Aside from loving how the name sounded, it also had a good connotation for us. It’s no a secret that we love living in the South. Sure, there are horrible things in its history, but it’s who we are and it’s where we’ve chosen to live. So, I guess here’s where I’m saying that our son is kind of, somewhat, indirectly named after Stonewall Jackson. Wait, hear me out…
Stonewall Jackson was known for being a bold leader with unshakable determination. And he was also a liiiiiittle quirky. (For example, did you know that he preferred to eat standing up and loved to munch on lemons?) We loved that, and, in a way, hoped that our kid would have some of those qualities. When we combined that significance with the fact that we liked it and it went well with our last name, Jackson ended up being a good fit.
Conveniently, the name Jackson also sounded great when paired with the name Ross. Ross, as you may know, is my husband’s first name. It also happens to be his father’s middle name and his paternal grandmother’s maiden name, one that she got from her father who brought it with him on a boat across the ocean when he left Scotland.
So, now we have Jackson Ross, a little guy whose name serves as a nod to the place we love, a statement of our hopes for him, and an effort to honor our family’s heritage.
The funny thing is, despite all of the meaning wrapped up in his first and middle names, we actually call him by his initials: JR.
You might have noticed that there are tons of Jacksons around these days. Jack (which we went with for the first couple days after he was born) is also becoming more popular. Basically, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there will be tons of other Jacksons/Jacks running around the school playground with ours. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with sharing a name, but we both have fairly uncommon names and liked being “the only one” while growing up.
So, we ended up going with JR. Sure, it’s kind of a hassle at times. In fact, inquiries of “What’s your son’s name?” get an automatic “His-name-is-JR-it-stands-for-Jackson-Ross” from me just to save time.
But the name suits him. To us, JR sounds like someone you’d want to hang out with and someone you can count on; it’s solid, down-to-earth, but a little different. That’s exactly the kind of guy we hope our son turns out to be.
Ok, your turn
Tell us what names you gave your kids and why…