In my more idle moments, such as those occupying the many hours spent on public transport, I often daydream and speculate – some of which ends up here on this very blog when it happens to be something I deem intriguing – and one of my occasional random thoughts is: what am I going to call my kids?
I have, over the years, decided on my daughter’s name roughly 17 times, in my more idle moments, taking names from friends, celebrities, chance-met strangers, or even making them up in a hope of getting them to fit into whatever dreams of future partners i may have. But it was with some surprise that I noted myself thinking along these lines merely minutes in to a decently violent movie, in the middle of some decently violent opening scenes, that “Amelia”, a name shouted moments before, would be an altogether sweet and beautiful name by which to address my daughter. In front of me, a man turning from human to werewolf was loudly and rather messily decapitated.
Now, many people would think this a futile line of thought to walk. Not withstanding lack of imminent children to name, let alone life partner with whom to contemplate such a prospect, it would appear to be a most fruitless pursuit. One would, as society deems it, wait until said child is born, and then taking into account many factors, one would, with consultation, pluck a name from the veritable assortment available from the world over, and thus impart such name upon the child, thereby changing it from “the child” to something far more intimate. I think, however, many people fail to appreciate the value of a name, and underestimate the necessity to think ahead. I know through personal experience that a name that is by and large easy to say is vital; having to constantly explain that, no, my name is in no way related to a major religion’s central text, and that indeed, it should be pronounced roughly “Ka’rn”, but with a nuance of a supressed ‘a’, or maybe ‘u’, sound between the r and n, something that some people get right on first occasion and others fail to pick up for years on end; all in all, having a name which doesn’t need to be explained on first contact generally smooths social occasions and avoids potential embarrasment. It is not unknown for people to grow into names, which somehow defines them for life. You’d never catch a Randalph down at the footy on a Saturday night, for instance.
Clearly, I have digressed. This is, I must note, perhaps the 18 time – that I can recall – that I have settled on a name for my daughter. We shall see indeed if my mind changes in the future, as Amelia may join such names as Natasha, Rebecca, Honey, Radhika, or Aiko on the rejected list. It is such a pretty name though, allowing shorter forms like Amy or Lia, or even with my last name the decidedly tomboyish AJ. Versatile, I tell you.
I’ve only thought of my son’s name 3 times, however. My wife can name him.