Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Sir's name

One of the nurses in the NICU asked us if we named Emmett after "the vampire in Twilight." She seemed so excited by the prospect that I felt kind of bad saying no. But seriously, the Twilight connection almost made us NOT use the name.

When we started trying to have a little one I bought a copy of The Baby Name Wizard. Swistle runs a baby name website, and loves this book. I read the baby name blog and had to get myself a copy. It's really a fun book - I would highly recommend it for anyone, even anyone not looking for a baby name. The book shows the meaning behind the name, the origin, a small graph of the name's popularity, the categories a name belongs to, and possible brother/sister names for that name. Each category is in the back and has a listing of names. So if you see that the name you like is in the "Antique Charm" section, like many of the ones I like, you can look in the back and see what other names fall into that category. It's super fun to look up all this information on names - one night we pulled it out while we had friends over and read the meaning for each person's name. Fun times!

So, I looked through the baby name book, writing down on a list any names that appealed to me at all. Once I did that, I looked at the categories each were in, and looked through those categories too. Once I did that I had a list of 7-10 girl names and about 5-6 boy names. I ran those by Mike and got some pretty solid vetoes. I suggested Mike do the same and he made up a listing of names. Then I got some vetoes (Herschel? Really?). We settled on a list of 3-4 boy names and about 5-6 girl names. Then we just let the lists marinate for awhile.

In the middle of all of this, my mom gave me a book my Grandma Stratton had filled out about her life. In it, there was a family tree. I noticed that one of the names I really liked, that was on our front runner list, was a family name. Although my Uncle Clyde goes by his middle name, his first name is Emmett. And his father, my great-grandfather, was named Dillard Emmett. To the family he was known as Nandad, but he went by the name Emmett. I knew Emmett was Clyde's given name, but hadn't known about Nandad using the name. I was thrilled to find out the extent of its use as a family name, because I really loved the name. And the family connection was such a great bonus that it overruled the fact that it was used in the Twilight movies.

In the meantime, Mike's favorite on the boy side was Wyatt. So over the pregnancy, our list really boiled down to Emmett and Wyatt on the boy side of things. We had a name picked out for a girl, but I'll keep that a secret in case we want to use that in the future :)

Emmett's middle name was much easier. I feel pretty strongly that middle names should be used to honor someone in the family (at least for us - of course not everyone has to do this!). You hardly ever use a middle name, and it means so much to have a child namesake. Why not use this as a time to show our family how much we love them? We tossed around the idea of using "Michael" but Mike felt that it was a bit narcissistic, and felt pretty strongly about using my Dad's first name, Jeffrey, as a middle name for a boy. One day he was like "Your Dad is a really good man. He loves his family and would do anything for any one of us. I really think we should use his name for a middle name." Once I knew how strongly Mike felt, that pretty much sealed the deal on the boy middle name.

With a girl name picked out and two boy names in competition, I had a strong hunch that the baby would be a boy. I would sit on the couch and point to my belly and say to Mike "You think there is an Emmett in here?" and smile. Mike was always unwilling to commit, and would just smile back and say "Maybe!" One day he admitted to me that he was waiting for a sign regarding what boy name to use. I laughed a little bit but thought we'd wait and see what happened.

Then, in December, the clouds parted and a sign was given. My brother's fiance, Kim, has a sister who was due two months before me. She had her little boy and the e-mail was sent out "We are calling him Wyatt." I did a little victory dance, knowing that the likelihood of using the name Wyatt was far less now. We talked about it a bit - not totally ruling Wyatt out but leaning FAR more towards Emmett.

We never did fully come to a formal decision... Mike just started saying "It's a good name" when I mentioned the name. And then when he was born and the doc asked me his name, I just kind of blurted out "Emmett Jeffrey." Thank goodness it was OK with Mike, because I love that little man's name!


Mich said...

My cousin is expecting a little girl in September and it totally overwhelmed with the name game. I am sending her this post as inspiration - so she knows that a name will come together and not to fret tooooo much.

Emmett Jeffrey - a great name for a great little guy!

LMK said...

We had a really tough time deciding with Taryn. Lee despises every name under the sun except for Leroy (UGH). When I finally suggested Taryn, he said "not bad". That was his glowing review!

I am not surprised at all that Mike liked Wyatt. Isn't he a huge Young Guns fan?

Kevin said...

I'm going with Nevika FTW! (that's Kevin, jumbled up, with an A at the end). I was out drinking when i first came up with it and I thought it was Kevin backwards, but then days later realized it wasn't even that - but I like it so I'm sticking with it!