Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How Did You Come Up With THAT Name?

Dawn tagged her readers with a Meme asking them to share how they came up with their children's names. I thought it was a great idea for a meme so here goes:

Ewan Christopher MacBain- Right from the beginning boys names were difficult for us to choose from as we contemplated what in the world we would name the baby growing in my belly. We loved the idea of family names but weren't sure which ones to pick. We had a lot of criteria that needed to be met before settling on a name. I couldn't start with a "P" because we didn't want the first and last initials to be "P.P.". It couldn't end with an "er" sound because Taylor Parker was too weird sounding. It also couldn't be a name that would possibly become or already is also a girls name--which ruled out a lot of names. And it had to be a little unique. And it had to have significant meaning. I didn't want to pick a name that meant demon or something dark and terrible. So basically we had 5 names to choose from. Just kidding.

If I remember correctly we actually decided on both of the middle names before picking the first name. We choose to have 2 middle names for the boys because it is common in English tradition for boys to have 2 middle names and since that is part of their heritage we decided to go for it.

We were nearing the end of my pregnancy and were leaving Borders bookstore. Jon passed by a book by an author with the name McEwan and Jon said, "Hey, what about Ewan?" I liked it but it was definitely different. I looked up what it meant and it means "Born of Nobility" or "Young Warrior". I liked the meaning and the idea that the baby in my womb would know that he is a child of God and would be a son of the King. I also liked that it meant he would be strong. Ewan also has some Scottish heritage and Ewan is a very popular name in the British Isles.

Christopher is the name of my uncle who was killed in a plane crash over 20 years ago. We wanted to honor him and we liked the name too.

MacBain is from Jon's side of the family and we wanted to include a name from his side of the family. We knew from the beginning that MacBain was going to be in the baby's name. There is a lot of heritage that comes from that side of the family and we wanted to carry that on.

Tank, Bubba, and Brother--absolutely nothing to do with his name whatsoever!

Isaac Thaddeus Deane- We had a hard time coming up with Isaac's first name too. We had been considering Isaiah for a long time but it never felt quite right. We were on a walk in Canada at the cottage--I remember that day so clearly--and Jon suggested Isaac. It clicked. We knew it was right. We had been praying about it for quite a while so it was a relief that we knew what the baby's name was. Isaac means laughter and who wouldn't want a precious boy whose name means laughter. I pictured someone full of joy and able to laugh.

I really liked that name Thaddeus but not necessarily for a first name. I didn't want his name to get shortened to "Thad" because it sounds like "sad" with a lisp. And I didn't like Tad either. Thaddeus means courage and as I prayed for this baby growing in my womb I knew that courage would be part of his name. When he was born 6 weeks early and was in the NICU I knew why God had pressed that name into my heart.

Deane is Jon's middle name and his dad's first name. Another family name to be passed down to another generation. It also means leader. We thought of a little boy with the pictures of laughter, courage, and leader attached to him. It fit.

Nicknames: Bubba, Brother. Again, nothing creative with his name. I think Ewan and Isaac have those strong sounding consonants so it doesn't really shorten or lengthen into anything that just rolls off the tongue.

Jonathan Graham Antonius- Early on in the pregnancy when I was praying about what to name the baby I felt strongly that the baby's name was going to be Jonathan. Jon felt a little weird about naming a baby after him but didn't feel like he could argue with what I felt like I heard from God. Jonathan means gift of God. Having a third was a deliberate decision on our end and when we got pregnant again I knew this baby was a gift. We were excited about the possibility of having a girl but when we found out it was a boy I felt like God had gifted us with a precious third boy to love.

Graham is a name that we both loved and we both agreed that having two Jonathans in the house might be a little confusing. We knew the second middle name is what we would call the baby. This is the only name out of all the names for all the boys that doesn't mean anything super significant. It means gravel area or gray homestead. Jon has a cousin named Graham, although spelled differently, and we both like him a lot. The name "Graham" met all our other criteria.

Antonius- While we were visiting Canada this summer we were telling the family we were having a hard time coming up with the second middle name. Jon's grandma asked him who were his spiritual heroes were and suggested that maybe we would find a name there. It got Jon thinking and he picked Antonius after St. Anthony. I should have Jon contribute on more of his reasons to pick St. Anthony. Check the comments for that.

Nicknames: Smooshers (because that 12 pound baby at birth was so smooshy when he was born!), Shmooshy, Grahammy, Grahamikins, Cracker (from his grandpa--none of us call him that!)

Consider yourself tagged!


mamabrown said...

Good post, sweetie, enjoyed it.

Dawn said...

They're all such interesting and cool name choices - I loved reading more of the details behind them! Thanks for playing.

Jon Parker said...

Ah... It makes me all teary reading about this all again. Great post, babe.

Two comments:
1. Actually, as I remember it, we picked three names for Ewan and didn't add a second middle name until later. I liked the idea of two middle names, but I think we were both a little reticent to do something so different.
But, anyway, as I recall it we had Ewan MacBain Parker and Amelia was worried about not having anything from her family represented.
We were driving home one night and I said that maybe it would be good to add a second middle name - what if we can only have one kid? We talked about people in her family we wanted to honor and Christopher was the obvious choice (for some deep personal reasons).
My second comment is about St Anothony:
1) He is considered the father of monasticism (which had a strong missionary bent and BTW ended up saving Christianity in Europe via Ireland and perhaps in the world globally, but that's another story).
2) He was strong in spiritual warfare.
3) He was a contemplative father and someone I have looked up to in seeking a deep faith in God. I felt by honoring this contemplative father that it would encourage me to stay rooted in God and not "in my head" or in people. Only God knows whether I will!
I hope Graham is encouraged to love God in all these ways.

Tina said...

Hello Parker PA people! Did someone forget that I call Isaac "Teddy" and it was so perfect when God (and you) gave my Teddy a Graham?? :)