There are certain things in life that I always thought would be fun.
Like going to the Prom! My date left with another girl because she had a joint.
Or choosing your wedding gown! Ugh, I tried on over 30 dresses at 8 different bridal salons and I never got that clouds-parting-sun-shining-this-is-it moment. I ordered one off the internet that I had never tried on and, while it was a nice dress, I still ended up looking like a Beluga whale. Granted, Belugas are one of the smaller whales, but still whales nonetheless.
Naming your baby! That's gotta be fun! And that is where this story begins...
Just like I scoped out bridal magazines when I was in junior high, I've also been keeping a baby name list since about 5th grade. This was definitely going to be the most exciting thing about having children, right? BIG FAT WRONG.
It was loads of fun before we found out the sex, probably because it didn't seem so real then. But once we knew for sure we were having a boy, it seemed like panic set in. There really was a baby in there and that baby had to have a name and we were halfway into the pregnancy and absolutely clueless. So many options and we could only choose one! (Middle names don't really count). We made a list of criteria to help us along the way.
1. No trendy names like Bentley or anything that ends in X.
2. No uber-popular names like Aiden or anything that rhymes with it.
3. But it can't be so unpopular that you need to repeat it 4 times and then spell it when meeting someone for the first time.
4. It should be an acceptable name for both a child and an adult.
5. No Twilight names or Glee names. Even though I love Finn and Quinn, I have a feeling they are about to take over the world. Too bad you can't play the baby name market like the stock market.
6. No "old man" names like Henry. There are so many babies named Henry these days. I just don't get it.
7. No names that end in a C or K sound, including nicknames. A lot of great names were out with this rule like Linc, Lochlan, Nicholas, Zachary, Broderic....so sad.
8. No names that end in ER because our last name ends in ER and Brian didn't like the way it flowed. Goodbye Dexter and Oliver...sniff sniff.
9. I would like a Scottish name to reflect my heritage but it isn't a must.
10. Brian and I BOTH had to love it.
Can you see why this is more stressful than it is fun?
We finally settled on Jonah Louis. My dad's name is Joseph, I'm Jodie and I thought Jonah would be following in tradition. Brian really wanted to honor his late grandpa whom he loved and missed very much and I had no problem with that. That's where the name Louis came from. Also, I intended on calling him Joe-Louis, after a hometown hero. It was perfect! A little bit of mom, a little bit of dad, a little bit of ancestry and a little bit of hometown pride. Plus, there are tons of baby things with whales on them; bibs, towels, washcloths...
So we named him Jonah Louis and continued to call him Jonah or Joe-Louis for several weeks. I didn't say anything, but I wasn't feeling 100% right about it. I always thought that when we found the right name, I would just "know" it and I didn't feel certain about Jonah. I was secretly relieved when Brian finally confessed that he didn't want to use Louis anymore because it might hurt people in his family, that he used this person's name instead of that person's name. It made sense. We decided to scratch it and start from the beginning.
Next up was Cohen. I've loved the name since the OC and Brian also loved it and wouldn't the nickname Coey be adorable?!?!? Then I googled the name and found out that Cohen is the most popular Jewish last name and that a non-Jewish person naming their baby Cohen was like a non-Christian naming their baby Jesus. It was seen as a mockery and an insult. Granted, I can count the number of Jewish people I've met in my lifetime on one hand but who knows where our lives will take us in the future? I didn't want a name that would offend people.
Then there was Brody. A combination of Brian and Jodie and it's Scottish, too. All of our family and friends seemed to love it and it was the cutest name for a little boy or a young man but it didn't seem to age well past like 25. Could you really take a 50-year-old professional gentleman seriously with a name like Brody? I liked it best in its long form of Broderic but that was out with the Cs.
Due date was getting closer and closer and we had nothing!!!! I was waiting for a name that really spoke to me. Finally, just a few weeks ago, I was looking at the Scottish names one more time and reading them out loud to Brian. Cameron? It's a girl name now. Cullen? Twilight name. Finley? Glee name. Ian?
And Brian looked up. He seemed inspired and thoughtful. "Ian," he repeated. "I like it." Then he put his face to my belly and said, "Hello in there baby Ian. Daddy loves you." And that was the moment that spoke to me. That was when BC became Ian.