Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What's in a Name?

There are times when I wish I had had another child. But, after more thought, I realize it is only so that I could have named one more child (although I do very much envy these women who have several children and are able to seemingly handle the job with all smiles and patience).

And just what would that name have been? Scout. I have been a fan of it for years - even before Demi and Bruce gave it to one of their offspring. In fact, had John-Heath not been born a boy he would have been Scout. I already had it picked out. My mother did not care for it too much, as she didn't think it was really a name-name. Her reply when I told her was "Scout? Like the Indian?". No, not like the Indian. Like the tom-boy in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Ren would probably have been a Scout, too, but we agreed that John would name our firstborn if it were a girl and I would name a boy (at the time my two favorite choices were Charles Court or Charles Bartholomew ).

Ren's given name is Katelyn Ren. John found the "Ren" at a book signing in which he and two other gentlemen were signing copies of a book they had written. When John asked to whom he should address one particular book a lady said her name was Ren. We both chose the Katelyn because we thought it would sound nice as the first name. I think we may have gotten that off the back of a movie box.

A funny story about her name...when Ren was in the 5th grade she decided that she no longer wanted to be called Ren. That was a borrring name. Instead, she would be called Katelyn - like there aren't a hundred of those in every school in about as many variations. Anyway, she told her librarian this (I wasn't the librarian there yet). He, in turn, proceeded to ask John - as he taught across the hall from the library - if this was okay to do. John's reply was "Katelyn? She can't even spell Katelyn." Which was probably true at the time.

John-Heath's patronymic came about in a more traditional way. Even though I was still very fond of the idea of a Court or a Bartholomew, I gave in to sentimentalism and named him after his two grandfathers. John-Heath is a fifth generation John, following John Franklin, John Silas, John Silas, Jr., and John Franklin (again). The Heath is one of my family names - and a most distinguished name, too. It is of Middle English origin and means "untended land where certain flowering shrubs grow"...sounds kinda like a description of John-Heath's playroom and what could be growing in there.

...a name thought to be pretty by a dear family friend, Ms. Effie, who suggested it to my mom.

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