How She Became Waverly

Monday, September 26, 2016

Before we had Mason, we discussed his name only a handful of times. And it wasn't like we finally agreed to one name. Our conversations usually started out with one of us asking the other what his name should be followed by the other saying I don't know. We then threw out some names including Mason, and then agreed to think about names some more to be discussed at a later time. We didn't pen his name until the day we left the hospital.

Growing up, my name was always mispronounced, and I have always felt strongly that I couldn't (and consequently didn't) use Hmong names for my children. My name was sometimes a good conversation starter, but frankly, it was just frustrating to have to correct people. And I didn't always correct people either. It depended on whether I was going to see you again or not, and then other times, I just didn't because I could careless. 

With this pregnancy, we approached her name similar to Mason's, although we sort of had a first runner up. I loved the name, and it was not a common name, but one that was already used by a friend for her daughter. They didn't live in town, but with social media, it feels like they lived close by. Nonetheless, we kept that name in mind. I even started telling some friends the name we thought about using. Maybe that ruined it. Anyhow, towards the end of my pregnancy, we started doubting our name choice and stopped discussing her name altogether.

Names are difficult. Names are identities. People name children after people they respected, or thought was nice, or thought was attractive. It wasn't something I looked at lightly. I wanted to see both my babies before I named them, although I'm not sure how helpful that was since babies look like, well, babies. Their faces didn't scream one name or the other. 

Late at night when I couldn't sleep, I would scroll through FaceBook. It was on one of these nights that I found her potential name. It was a list of New York baby names. I was scrolling through when I saw the name Waverly. Three syllables. It didn't roll off my tongue like Mason. Mason and Waverly. Did those names go together? I wasn't sure. I had wanted something southern, since I missed the South quite a bit. But Waverly - that sounded beautiful, but subtle. It sounded calm and poised. It sounded like it could be my daughter's name.

After I had her, Brandon had a name for her, but I couldn't go with it. It was a very popular name, and absolutely beautiful, but that name just didn't seem right for her, for my daughter. We walked away from the hospital with a promise to call back and give them a name. Once we left the hospital, the conversation resumed, but now with a deadline looming on our shoulders. We could never come up with anything new other than Brandon's choice, and my choice. Finally, I decided I just needed to make a decision, and my vote was going to count twice ;)

And that was how she became Waverly.

How did you pick your children's names? This is always a topic that I love hearing about. 


1 comment:

  1. I love baby names. And even though I don't have a kid yet, I still think about what I'd narrow my kids constantly. Usually, I'll jot down some names from a book I'm reading when the name stands out to me or I'll hear it in passing or from a friend. I also don't really like common names either. I like names where my kid can shorten it and make lots of nicknames too. My name is probably the easiest name and people still get it wrong, so I understand where you're coming from. However, I still believe it's a good idea to still keep your roots somehow. All my kids will definitely have a hmong name spelled in hmong as tone of their middle names.


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