Picking a name for a kid is hard work. When my cousin's wife delivered their first child, they were not able to leave the hospital until they had decided on a name. I called him to check in to make this discovery and asked what name they were thinking about.
But Jared was worried that, as his father- and the first time as a father, he was strapping a name to his son for the rest of his life. Would he be an Alex as he grew up? As a father, this was his first decision and it would effect the rest of his life. No pressure. When his son grew to be a man, would he hate his name?
It's not like we're naming him Sue, here- I said. We're talking about Alex. Alexander the Great! Alexander Graham Bell! Alex is a good name. A strong name. Alex is your friend and your confidant. Alex is an excellent choice to name your first born. You raise him with love, you'll raise him to know that his name was a gift from his parents.
Alex went home in his father's arms a few hours later.
Husband and I don't talk about names until we know what we are having. We knew our first born would be named after my mom. The second one was a little trickier. But, before we start talking about names- mentally, we both pull out the Rolodex of names we know and dog ear the ones we want to put on the "please consider" list. As we get closer to discovering the gender, our mental lists (which are never discussed) get shorter and evolve. Names that are on both lists get moved to the top, names that I turn my nose up at get tossed. Names that Husband doesn't care for are put in the "maybe" pile.
"Maybe" meaning I need to go back and look at them again to see if they are something worth putting back in the hat. Most of the time, they aren't.
So, I started flipping through my mental Rolodex over the past few days and am always partial to family names. Family names that are old and lovely. Family names of family members that I adore, love, and cherish.
There was no greater generation than my grandfather's. He was the youngest of seven- four of which were sisters: Francis Talulah (Talu), Mary Agnes (Mae), Helen Cecilia (Helen), Benjamin Elizabeth (Bennie). Mentally, I am tapped out of girl names- so this is where I felt I should start.
Francis Talulah is not Husband's style. Helen Cecilia is pretty wonderful- but we don't need two children with an eighties music themed name. We've already used Bennie. And Aunt Mae was really special to me.
Aunt Mae was a woman I remember from my childhood as someone who was both strong and wonderful. She raised her large family after her husband died at a young age. All of her children went on to become successful people, marry, and have children of their own. Aunt Mae is someone worthy of having a child named after.
Mae made it on my mental list.
Elizabeth is a family name and a friend's name. We both really like the name Elizabeth. And Beth is short for Elizabeth. Never met a Beth I wasn't head over heels about. Beths are fun people. Beths are trustworthy. Beths are lifelong friends. Beths are keepers.
Mentally, Mae Beth made it to the top of the list. Mae Beth rolls off the tongue well, sounds a little traditional without being too much of a blue-haired [old person] name, like Petunia. Or Mortimer.
Mae Beth. I think I can slowly get Husband on board with Mae Beth if Baby is a girl. Rolling the name around in my head, I start thinking about what it could possibly get shortened to or evolve into. For instance, we often call Bennie-- Bennie B.
Mae Beth... I guess that might be shortened to Mae B.... or maybe not.
Back to the Rolodex.