It’s funny how some people have really strong convictions about what to name their children, and some people really don’t. Some families have all the same initials or all start with the same letter. And some families always use “family” names and some just name them whatever comes to mind. There is a family in our ward whose children, in age order, start with A, E, I, O, U. I asked the mother once why she named the I child that name, because it isn’t weird, just not common. She said “I needed an I name, and that was the one we liked.” It took me about a month after that comment to realize what she meant.
We fall into the middle ground I think. We don’t have really strong ideas about what pattern to follow, but we do have our names picked out for 2 boys and 1 more girl. Even Claire was picked out beforehand, I just expected to have more time to pick a middle name to go with Claire. I didn’t know that the first kid would be Claire. I’ve been thinking a lot about Claire’s middle name lately. We haven’t picked one yet. But I go back and forth about something. We have three other names picked out, who knows if we will use them all, but they are Mark Alexander for the first boy, Michael Alann for the second, and Elizabeth Anne for the next girl. So all the middles start with A. And, we are using both of Alann’s names and one of mine. So what do we do? Do we give Claire an A middle name, so she matches her siblings? Or do we give her Rebecca, so that all of our names are used? Or do we go with something else completely? When she grows up, will she feel left out that she didn’t get a matching name or a parent’s name? Or will she feel special? Alann’s siblings’ names have no relation to one another. My family has a very slight relationship. My first name starts with the same initial that my older sister’s middle name starts with. My younger sister’s first name starts with the same initial as my middle name. I don’t remember if that was on purpose or accident. Had there been another kid, and it was a boy, his name would have been Michael, which would have been the same initial as my little sister’s middle. But in Alann’s extended family, there are some very strong naming conventions being used. So I just don’t know. I have a few A names I like, and a few non-A names I like. I just don’t have a really strong feeling about what to go with.
Names are important. I believe that names shape our personalities somewhat. And I am very much influenced by the other people I know with those names. There are some names I will never use because I do not have a good remembrance of someone with that name. In the scriptures, we are taught to take upon us the name of Christ, so that we will be remembered of Him at the last day. We are taught not to take the name of the Lord in vain, because it is sacred. We are taught that some people change their names, in order to start a new life (Anti-Nephi-Lehis). Helaman gives unto his sons the names of Nephi and Lehi. He taught his children “Behold, my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God; and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words. Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.” (Helaman 5:6). He wanted his sons to remember to do good, so he named them after good people. I want to give Claire a good name. I want her to do good. I want her to remember to follow the gospel and live a Christ-like life. I just don’t know what to name her.
I have also had a couple of people tell me recently that it's great that we are calling her Claire, but we probably won't name her that when she is actually born. I guess it could happen, but it would be really strange. Especially since we will be so used to calling her that.