Bringing another human into this world is arguably the biggest responsibility you will ever take on. Giving that tiny human a name is a close second. After all, that name can be the basis of someone's first impression. It can be the source of taunts. And if you want to get unique, you could be subjecting your child to a lifetime of correcting people on its spelling or pronunciation. It may not seem like much to you, but as someone who has spent their entire life correcting just about everyone I meet (my name is pronounced Mar-EE-sa, not Marissa), I assure you that it gets old fast. So what happens when your partner is dead set on naming your child something that you hate? In our case, it was a battle of wills until fate stepped in.
Nothing I said or did was going to change his mind. For eight weeks, it was all we talked about. And during those eight weeks, neither of us budged.
When I was 12 weeks pregnant with our firstborn, the ultrasound technician confidently told my husband and I that we were expecting a boy. My husband's face lit up at the thought of having a son, who he was hell-bent on naming Joseph, after his grandfather. I have nothing against the name Joseph. In fact, I think it's a nice name. It's solid and classic . . . but it's also common. And at the time, when we were living in an area where many people prided themselves on their Italian heritage (my husband's family included), it was a little too common.
I tried explaining to my husband that given the area in which we lived, our son would always be one of umpteen Josephs in his class. I even offered up a yearbook from the school at which I was teaching so that he could go through and count all of the Josephs, Joes, and Joeys. But nothing I said or did was going to change his mind. For eight weeks, it was all we talked about. And during those eight weeks, neither of us budged. I was convinced that we would leave the hospital with a nameless child.
During our 20-week ultrasound, we were asked if we wanted to know the sex of our baby. We said we already knew we were having a boy. Well, we were wrong. The technician who had told us that we were having a boy did so prematurely. The 20-week scans confirmed from every angle that we were having a girl. I practically jumped off the table, and everyone in the office heard my shriek of excitement. Not only had I always dreamed of having a little girl, but now the weeks-long battle over a name was over. I had won by default.
Choosing a name for our daughter proved much easier since my husband wasn't interested in any female variations of Joseph. On the day she was born, we arrived at the hospital with two potential names and a plan to select one when we finally met our little girl. In the end, however, my husband got to see and hold her first. I heard him say his first hello, followed by her name. It was one of the two names we had chosen together, but the final decision was ultimately his, and I have no regrets. Not only does her name suit her, but one of our twins has the other name, and never was a baby more aptly named. I'd say that when it came down to choosing a name, we both won, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Unless number four comes along and happens to be a boy. Then we'll be right back to square one.