I didn’t name any of my kids Frankenstein or Pouncer or any other eye grabber because it isn’t all about me. And because names make a difference. If you have a child with the ability to move, taking their bodies to unknown destinations (that could be anywhere from 8 months to 80 years) you know how scary loving a child can be. Kids do the darnedest things. They climb things never meant to be climbed, they attempt to fly without wings, they go out with friends who have just learned to drive, they learn to drive! and they live and breath and experience life in a dangerous world.
If you are anything like me, you stuff your anxieties into your pockets and pray to God that your child will be safe and live long enough to learn how to spell their names. It helps to have a name that does, in fact, mean something. And I am not talking about that special camping trip you and your hubby took where you saw the full moon and thus you named your child Fullness. I mean a name that they can ponder and discover its depths. I am talking about a name with history. Why does everyone want to invent a new name? Yes, someone had to be the first Mary, Jane, Fred and Alexander – but I rather pity the poor soul who had to start out life with a completely new name that was just some nice sounding letters thrown together.
My child’s name is not only his or her name but the reflection of the person I am naming them after. Each child is named for people I sincerely admire. Most of them are saints, though not all. At least, the records on this side of the human experience don’t tell. But I admire the person enough to feel free to call upon their intercession before God. If we can pray to God – then why not pray to His friends and ask them to help us too? There is a long standing tradition in the Catholic Church whereby we call upon the intersession of the saints for the good of those of us still left here on earth.
Late at night, when fears are apt to get the better of me, I love the recourse I have to the saints in heaven. I draw strength and comfort from calling on those saints and heroes I have named my children after. I doubt I would get the same comfort from Frankenstein, Fullness, or any other eye catching hubris. When you love your kids, you realize – it isn’t all about you.