Holland had a few suggestions of her own: "How 'bout Ariel, Mommy? Or how 'bout Belle? OR (long pause) how 'bout Sleeping Beauty? (she said enthusiastically followed by a couple of giggles) No, that's silly. How 'bout Jasmine or Pocahontas?"
Seriously though, names are so important and so personal. I find that it is so stressful to choose a name for your child, but I have to remind myself that one thing I have learned is that kids "grow" into their names, and then you can't ever imagine them being named anything else.
The process of choosing a name for your child is similar to the process of choosing a fine wine. First, you swirl it around in your mouth and let it glide over your tongue. You determine if it has good “mouth feel”. As you continue the process you ask yourself questions that help you come to a conclusion. Is it versatile? Is it well suited for both formal and informal occasions? Is it smooth? Delicate? Complex? Does it have a long finish? Would you like to share it with your family and friends? What flavors do you detect? Is it well balanced? Will it age well? Is it something to savor?
Can you see the similarities? I sure can. However, as I am lying in bed I don’t always think in metaphors and the real process of choosing a name is a bit more fraught with existential trauma than is choosing a wine*. There are other things to consider. For instance:
So, there you have it. These are some of the things I ponder as I lie in bed. Choosing a name. Choosing a wine.
How does it sound when I am talking baby talk? "Hi sweet baby, my little ______. Come here, let mommy give ________ kisses!"
Does it roll off my tongue the right way? Is there appropriate cadence? Rhythm? Is it prone to vulgar rhymes or other distortions? Does it ring true?
Is there someone we want to honor? Is there a special family name to carry on? Can her teachers and friends pronounce it? Is it spelled in a way that is recognizable and can be transcribed phonetically?
How does it look and sound on a birth announcement? An invitation to a birthday party? A wedding napkin?
Do the initials stand for something else in our overly-acronymed society? (e.g., RIP, SUV, BYOB)
Do you have any close friends or family members that have called “first dibs” on names you are considering?
How will it sound when the master of ceremonies calls out her name for them to receive their diploma?
Is the name rich in literary, biblical, mythological, or historical reverberations?
Is it unique without being too odd?
Does it clear a space for Being, as Heidegger said a name should?
*Note: Some of the above comments/questions were provided by Jonathan. You can guess which ones.