Baby name key to the game of life
WHAT'S in a name?
Would I still be "me” even if my parents had thought to call me Mia, Deanna or Roslyn (beautiful names I envied all through school)?
It's a bit like the chicken and the egg dilemma but it's one I've found myself pondering as we throw around some name suggestions for a new granddaughter due in August.
It's no exaggeration to say hundreds of names have been thrown into the ring, only to be rejected immediately by the parents-to-be.
Mostly they can't say why, just that "it's not right” - it's a good thing pregnancies last as long as they do the way we are going.
A few names have made the short list only to be replaced by a new favourite (one of my favourites is still on the list so I've got my fingers crossed).
The names we give our children are chosen with the great hope that it will be a "good fit” for the child who carries it through life.
Like it or not, our identities are tied up in our name.
It's often the first thing people know about us, it can be one of the first words we learn to say and soon enough it's how we are recognised in a classroom full of kids, or found on Facebook.
The seriousness of the name game is not lost on me but being part of a naming ceremony for our grandson helped me understand why it is so important.
I've been to plenty of christenings, including one where I wished my baby would cry uncontrollably so I had an excuse to get up from the hard as rock pew.
But a naming ceremony delivered a little more pomp and ceremony than I was expecting.
Bringing family and friends together to celebrate our grandson's life was made special because of the way the celebrant honoured his name - telling us his parents had found a way to mark their son's individuality and uniqueness as a person.
Bookended by heartfelt promises by grandparents and two of their best friends to always be there for this child, the celebrant told us "a name once given would be forever associated with a face, a voice, a walk, a laugh and the other idiosyncrasies our families and friends recognise as a reflection of this child's individuality”.
Her words gave me goosebumps as I realised their truth.
He doesn't have to grow into his name, forever more we will know him as Samson - the beautiful name that won that particular name game.