I know that there are three universal truths in life: death, taxes, and that everyone will have an opinion on what you name your baby (and they will absolutely let you know). Before I was even remotely close to being married, I thought I had the perfect names for my future children (sidebar: I was also the perfect mother, living with my fictitious children who ate organic everything and never, ever threw fits in public.) Then, my tastes changed, fads came and went, and I met my husband. (Well, re-met. We’ve known each other for years. But that’s a story for another blog post.)
When Nerds Choose Baby Names
When I got pregnant with our first, we already knew what we were going to name our little bundle if it was a girl: Hermione. Yep, like from Harry Potter. Some folks may think it’s odd to name your kid after a fictional character, but my best friend has a daughter named River (like River Tam from Firefly) and another daughter named Kaylee Jayne (like Kaylee Frye and Jayne Cobb, also from Firefly) and I have to say, I think it’s amazing.
“Why Hermione?” you might ask. I’ll tell you why. For those not familiar with the wizarding world of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger is one of the three main characters in the book series. She’s sometimes portrayed as a know-it-all who spends “too much time” in her studies and is usually getting her besties (that would be Harry and Ron) out of trouble with her quick thinking and intelligence. While some may see her character as annoying or odious, my husband and I see a completely different character.
Hermione is clever. She is smart. She is caring and loyal and fights for what she believes in. She doesn’t care that she spends most of her free time in the library because she loves to learn. She is brave. Not only does this girl fight off a troll and other dark creatures, but when she or her friends are relentlessly teased by Slytherins, she advises her friends not to sink to their enemy’s level. She was wholly devoted to battling evil, even if it cost her everything. She may be fictional, but her impact on my life is real.
My son’s name, however, came with a fight. I had always been certain that my son’s first name would be Francis, after my dearly-loved grandfather who passed away when I was in the third grade. He was a kind, quiet, thoughtful man who said what he meant and meant what he said. My husband had his own ideas about what to name our son when he was born, just two and a half years after our daughter.
“I have always known my first son’s name would be Uriah,” my husband told me.
“Like from the Bible? The guy that King David has killed after he finds out Bathsheba is pregnant and is actually married to Uriah?” I replied.
“Yep. That’s the one.”
I couldn’t wrap my head around why my husband would want to name our son after a guy who not only gets cheated on by his wife while he’s fighting in a war, but is then killed because he stayed loyal to the king! After some ahem, discussions, with my husband, he told me: “Uriah was a mighty warrior. He was loyal to the king no matter what it cost him. He was true, righteous, and a man of his word. That’s the kind of man I want our son to be.” Who could argue with that?
I could totally argue with that.
A few weeks before Francis Uriah or Uriah Francis was born, I agreed to let Uriah be first on his birth certificate, but he would have two middle names. One of them would be Francis. The other? Indiana. Oh, yes. Like Indiana Jones.
Indiana was actually always on our list of boy names. But with the whole debate on names, we sort of forgot all about it. The Indiana Jones movies were a HUGE part of both of our childhoods and we still love the films now. Indiana is intelligent, daring, wants to soak up knowledge, and preserve historical artifacts for future generations. That’s how our little boy became Uriah Francis Indiana (“Indy” for short). The little guy with a big name!
A Deeper Meaning
I know not everyone likes our choices, and whenever my kids introduce themselves they sometimes get a few puzzled looks or an “Oh…that’s…different.” And that’s okay. But we chose our kids’ names for a reason. They mean something to us. They were carefully thought out and chosen to reflect the kind of people we want to carry on our legacy.
Do you have a story behind your kids’ names? Tell us in the comments!