I never planned on naming my baby after a superhero. When I was pregnant with my first son, Avery, my somewhat comic-book-obsessed husband subjected me to a few episodes of old X-Men cartoons on Netflix. At the time, we didn't know if we were having a girl or a boy, so we were constantly discussing baby names. A character named Jubilee came on the screen, and I absolutely fell in love. Jubilee went straight to the top of our list of girl names. Obviously, we gave birth to a baby boy, so Jubilee stayed on our list for next time.
Fast-forward two and a half years — we learned we were pregnant with our second child and the name game started all over again. We still loved Jubilee for a little girl, and I was totally on board with the superhero name route, so we began searching for boy names. No, I wasn't planning on naming my baby Superman or Wolverine (not that there's anything wrong with that) — we were more into alter-ego names like Clark or Logan.
My husband got to googling and stumbled upon a name that immediately made his eyes light up — a Fantastic Four character from the planet of Zenn-La. The Silver Surfer, also known as Norrin Radd. And, with that, the negotiations began.
I'll admit, I had mixed feelings at first. I loved that the name was unique and had a cool story, but I worried about what others would think. Would they look at me funny and scrunch up their noses when I told them the name? Would he be teased? Would his teachers know how to pronounce it?
As time went on and we got closer to meeting this baby and having to choose a name, I realized that all of my hesitations had to do with other people's opinions, not my own and not my husband's. We were the ones faced with the awesome task of choosing our baby's name.
Thanks to my husband and my Avenger-loving preschooler, I am becoming something of a superhero nerd myself, and, like most people, I wanted my child to have a name that held meaning to us as a family. I liked the sound of Norrin Radd, and he is actually one of the more amazing superheroes in the Marvel Universe. He basically sacrificed himself to save his planet, and he is described as noble, intellectual, and nearly indestructible. How cool is that?
When we left for the hospital, I was 100 percent confident in our choice. During my C-section, my husband announced to me while looking over the drape that it was another little boy. A few minutes later, they placed him on my chest, and I knew exactly who he was meant to be. He was Norrin Radd. With tears in my eyes I said, "Hi Norrin."
When we introduce Norrin to friends and family, most say nothing at all about his name. Still, some do test us: One friend said, "I knew you'd pick something weird," and a family member mentioned having to write it down so she wouldn't forget. My husband's colleague commented about "millennials and their gender-ambiguous names!" Our fellow comic-lovers, however, comment on how awesome it is that we named him after a superhero. Choosing your baby's name is very personal and a huge responsibility. I hope Norrin grows up knowing that we chose his name with all the love and honor in the universe.