Anyone who knows the husband and me - or even casually met us on a street corner - knows that both of us are a tad opinionated. Some of the time this works out well: he's opinionated about something that I don't care about, like all the hang-up clothes facing the same way in the closet (seriously??); other times I'm opinionated about things that he doesn't care about, but those things all make sense, obviously. Most of the time, however, we both have fairly staunch opinions about how something should go. For instance, one time when we were engaged, we got in a quite heated argument about whether one should cook the eggs or the bacon first when making an egg and bacon sandwich. Let's skip all of the craziness and go straight to the ending wherein I was in tears and yelled, "fine! Make your own damn sandwich!" Good times, good times.
Incidents such as this made each of us a little nervous about the baby names discussion. We found out on December 29 - roughly 5 months before I was due - that the boy was, in fact, a boy. Here's the in-utero proof:
(It's kind of difficult to see, but there are definitely arrows pointing to the boy parts. I would post a post-birth photo that showed those much more clearly, but I think that's illegal.)
But, although we found out the sex when the boy was only 19 weeks, we definitely did not decide on a name until very close to the end. I liked Henry and Lincoln; I don't really remember what the husband liked, because I'm a little self-absorbed like that (note to self: ask the husband what names he liked). But, coming up with a first name was not the main issue that we were concerned about. The main deal was that both of our families have pretty established naming traditions, both of which we wanted to follow. On my side, there is pretty much not a single man in either my dad's family or my mom's family or my family whose name does not include a particular name starting with J. On the husband's side, the tradition is to use the new grandpa's name as the new baby's middle name. Herein lies the issue: we didn't like either for the first name... we weren't wild about the nicknames, and calling our son the same name as almost every male in my family would just be confusing.
Initially we "decided" that we would name the boy with two middle names. Those two names, along with out last name, make up a whopping 5 syllables. That's not even counting the first name. It was a mouthful. Also, it sounded insanely pompous and we (jokingly) said that we should just own the fact that we were naming our child something ridiculous and put a "III" (uh, spoken "the third" for those who haven't yet studied roman numerals or been exposed to elitists who go to Harvard Law based on the number of buildings their parents have had built for the school). I think this was about 3 weeks before the boy was born.
With this cop-out of a compromise, we started discussing first names, keeping in mind that we needed to limit the number of syllables to avoid ridiculousness. This was, after all, a fairly permanent decision.
We had tentatively decided on a first name (Henry? Lincoln? I don't remember), and I decided that I needed to pick out birth announcements before the boy was born. This was around 1 week before he was born. The problem was that most of the ones I liked included monograms, and I realized that with two middle names, I would never, ever get to have anything monogramed for the boy. I went to all of those preppy-ish store websites that show all the kids' sheets and towels and backpacks and underwear ('cause, really - why the hell not??) embroidered with adorable monograms. Yeah, so I have one thing among all of my earthly possessions that is monogrammed, but what if, in the next 18 years, I completely change my taste and long for something monogramed for the child(ren) that I love?! This was quickly approaching crazy pregnant panic attack territory.
So, to the ultimate baby website I went to search the forums for the lesser-known nicknames associated with the family names. Jimmy? Nope. Lars? Not so much.
And, that is the story of how crazy pregnant me came to the idea of officially nicknaming our child after perusing shutterfly. (The husband readily agreed, by the way - and not just because I threatened to have another emotional breakdown if we had to have any more "name the baby" discussions.)
Here he is:
Meet James Lawrence
(also, more thanks to the amazing photographer)
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