Monday, March 2, 2009

What's in a Name?

So, according to strangers, Mark and I are no good at choosing names.
The reason we didn't want to share Theo's name early is because of all of the comments we got about Tate when we shared his name. Here is a sample of what we got:
"Tate? I don't really like that. Have you thought of something else, like George?"
No. We haven't. We like Tate and George is my best friend's Dad's name. It would be strange to name him after my best friend's Dad.
"Hmmm...I'm not a big fan of Tate. It's not very common."
Yes, I know. My name is very common and I'm fairly sensitive about that. In a math class my 7th grade year there were 4 other Jennifer's. There were 27 of us total.
"Tate, like in Tater Tots? I think he'll get made fun of a lot for that."
It builds character, don't you think?
"Oh, is that your last name?...No? His first? Hmmm."
If you're going to have an opinion, you might as well just share it.
And, to be clear, all of these responses were from people that we didn't really know very well. At all. Kind of discouraging, and, at the same time very appalling...who gives you the right to name a stranger's baby? So, when it came time to decide on a name for this baby we chose to not share, thinking that would help. Not so much. Just in our time at the hospital this is what we got (again, from strangers).
"Theo? Like Theodore? That's really old."
Yes, it is. But it's not too common and not too strange. That's what we like.
"Wow. That's...unique."
Nice way of being backhanded.
"Theodore isn't very trendy these days."
In all fairness, I don't think this was a bad comment, but I didn't really know how to respond. You're right. It's not. That's why we chose it.
Tate Jeffrey Duke Stearns: Means Cheerful Peacemaker. We both really liked the name and the meaning. Jeffrey is my Dad's name and we wanted Tate to have a family name.
Theodore Stephen Tidrick Stearns: Means Royal Gift from God. With him being due on my birthday, and being such a huge surprise we really felt like he is a gift. Theodore is also my grandpa's name, and Stephen is my brother. Tidrick is a family name on Mark's side.
We chose our names because they meant something to us. I'm sure everyone chooses their child's name similarly. You choose something you like, for whatever reason, and it's special for you.
I'm happy with our names. I love having a Tate. And a Theo.
Their names mean something to us, and they are special to our families as well.
So, strangers of the world, if you choose to criticize the names of my children, beware. I'm a postpartum mommy who is a little sensitive these days. Perhaps it's the hormones.

But then again, maybe it's just you.


Our Family said...

Well Jenny, I think Theo and Tate are cute names for what its worth. You are not alone. When we named Lydia my mom almost disowned me because I didnt put her name in. So be thankful its strangers and not family. I cant believe strangers asked you those questions. Your responses were nicer than mine would have been. If you want to name a kid get your own!!

Alibear said...

Wow! I definitely would have kept it to myself until afterward too. One would think people at the hospital would be more practiced to not make offensive remarks like that. Yet, one has to assume they meant well... I think they're great names. It's always fun knowing the meaning of names and the family history. And not that my 2¢ matters, but I think Tate and Theo clearly sound like wonderful brothers!

Dorothy said...

Jenni, I do know a little about your family and had it guessed completely wrong. Theodore is the male version of Dorothy. I thought you'd named him after your grandma and had sort of given him your middle name. Takes a Dorothy to think of such things.
Hormones or was well written.

cadovius said...

I could not agree more! No one has ever said anything about the boys' names and I hope they don't. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut about it. Your child's name is something precious and golden. No one should EVER make a snide comment....sorry people are being so rude

Kara said...

We still catch comments on Pete's name. Peter Arthur - sounds like a grandfather's name. But he's named in honor of someone who was very important to Rob.

I love my nephews' names. They're strong names. Good names.

We love you!

Christine Langager said...

Oh my darling Jenni! I'm sure you can guess what I would suggest you say to these crazy people=) I love thier names, I love that they are not the 5 millionth kid with that name in these last couple of years. They fit them perfectly. And their names bode well for presidenital or doctoral status...I love it. I think you should use these rude strangers to let all of your 'crazy' (hormonal of course!) out! Hehe, I love you guys!