We had a name but now it’s gone.  We let it go.  It could still come back, but I think we’re both over it and ready to test out something new.  But we are having trouble finding a name that we both agree on.

It is a crazy decision.  My name is so inherently my own that it is nearly impossible to image what I would be like if I had a different name.  Which means that this decision will affect and create a fundamental aspect of my child.

Does the name make the individual?  Or would any person be exactly the same with a completely different name?  The latter I doubt.  A name gives a shape and some coloring to the hidden soul.  And I want our child to look outside the lines and to find colors never named before.  I want the name to be interesting but comfortable.

I love words, and choosing this word to identify our offspring is one of the most unique and incredible experiences in my life.  There is something so essentially human about this act, this naming.  Our species loves to identify and understand everything we see, touch, taste, smell and hear.  We do it instinctively, as a way to grasp the world around us and hold it in our minds.  So much so that nearly everything out there is already named.

Yes, rare species are found in primeval forests and in the deepest ocean that are given new names now and then.  Of course bands make up names for themselves, riffing on other bands or art they love.  Paintings are brushed onto canvas and named.  Books are given titles that they are called for all their printed lives.  Kittens are born and we bestow them with a name we are forever nicking away at.  All that is true.

But this creation, this new human, it is ours to name.  It is our gift and our responsibility and it is another of those absolutely common things–that everyone has a name–which has suddenly become so deeply awesome.

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