Published April 04, 2008 by
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet. William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) English dramatist, poet Romeo and Juliet, II:2When we went to the hospital to deliver our twins, we had prepared a list of baby names worthy of the forty (40) weeks of anticipation for our babies’ birth. The list consisted of myriad names, all with sentimental value, significant literal meaning, or hip-sounding "twinny" alliteration.
All of the ultrasounds had been labeled "Baby A" and "Baby B." Although we thought we were prepared, the twin girls born on April 14, 1997, remained "Baby A" and "Baby B" as we sought for names that were worthy of such special, beautiful babies. When the girls were born, we looked at those tiny faces of the five (5) pound bundles of joy, and decided that none of the names on our list really "fit."I know it sounds silly that two unformed, premature infants would astound us in such a way as to make putting a name on a birth certificate such a perplexing feat. But, it is a permanent, lasting "label," if you will. Something more than what's put on a personalized baby blanket. Some believe it actually foretells a child’s destiny. (Some understand it will at least foretell a child’s treatment on the playground.)
Born in 1971, my parents named me "Starr." My father tells me it is due to his obsession with the television show, "Star Trek." My mother will say it is because a print of Van Gogh’s "Starry Night" hung in their bedroom. One of my mother’s hippie students came to visit me as a baby. Over a bowl of chocolate ice cream, she remarked, "Well" At least you didn’t name her" ‘COW’!" My grandmother said, "I am not going to call her that. That is not a name!" My mother asked, "What are you going to call her then?" Her response: "I don’t know, but I’m not going to call her THAT!"While thumbing through baby name books, I found my name, Starr, under the category of: "Names that are too much to live up to." Perhaps.
It was now time to name my children.After three (3) days of deliberation and prayer, we came up with the names "Zoe Claire" and "Skylar Ruth." Zoe means "life" in Greek. Claire means "bright & shining" in French. Skylar means "scholar" in Dutch, and Ruth is Biblical and means "compassionate friend."We announced the names of our twins to all of the family except my mother-in-law, Ruth. She came to the hospital and proclaimed, "Do my granddaughters have names yet?"The room was filled with relatives who were thrilled with the babies and the nomenclature. I told her their names were "Zoe" and "Skylar." With a laugh, she said, "No — really — what are their names?"Her reaction yielded a roomful of chuckles as my father whispered, "Ruth, they’re serious."Stunned, she replied, "Oh. What are their middle names?""Zoe Claire and Skylar Ruth."Ignoring the fact that one of them bore her name, she continued in shock, "How do you spell those names?!"
Today, she thinks these names are both beautiful and God-given. My grandmother eventually felt the same about my stellar name.Do not be surprised if, on the day you meet your new offspring, you will be taken aback as we were, and throw out all preconceived notions of his or her destiny, and, most of all, the name he/she will carry with them throughout their life.