18 May You Named Your Baby What?
I remember when I was pregnant with my first baby, we had been told it would be a girl, and so naturally off to the baby name book I went.
I looked through literally thousands of options.
As my husband and I discussed names, it became abundantly clear it was going to take some real effort.
The convos often went a little like this:
“I love (blank name)!”
“Oh God no, when I was in middle school…..”
On and on it went.
Name after name, story after story.
No way, after no way.
I figure we all are somebody else’s “I will never name my child that” inspiration.
Like I don’t anticipate any of my ex-boyfriend’s daughters will be named Melinda.
They are welcome.
Our kiddo was bound to be named something unique.
Did I mention my mom’s name is Linda? And my brother is Paul Jr. with my dad being the Sr.?
Not long before my mother’s due date, she had a random (or was it?) walk-in come into her salon, her name was Melinda.
My mom loved it. She had been considering the name Melissa but didn’t want anyone to call me “Missy.”
To this day, I still don’t know why.
So that’s where my name came from. Some random stranger, which in a way I think is cool to think of.
While my mom was out being an entrepreneur (aka. Boss lady), and working her third-trimester butt off (in heels, pantyhose, and with huge hair, it was the 80’s after all), my name came to be.
It’s not a super common name, but it’s a name I really do love.
And yes, I prefer Melinda most of all, or M (not Mel).
Fast forward almost twenty-six years and there I was on the internet searching and searching. I came to a page and thought, “I’m just going to look at meanings, not the actual names.”
Page after page came and went. I got to the final page, feeling extra defeated, and all the sudden came to the words “Song of Joy.”
After almost two years of trying for a baby, and wondering if I’d ever have children, that meaning struck something deep in me.
It’s kind of like time stood still.
“Do I dare look over at the name?”…
I think that might be it, I felt in my heart.
We had been considering another name, but Phil wasn’t so sure about it being her first name.
A week or so after I told him the name we were lying silently in bed and he said “I think I know our daughter’s name…..Zemirah Meadow.”
And there was peace (both), and tears (mine).
And our hearts knew, that was it.
Our little song of joy.
We didn’t tell anyone because we were concerned about other’s opinions.
The fun part: that it was our own little secret.
The ridiculous part: that anyone has to fear another person’s opinion, and that people feel the “right” to express opinions that may cause others to question or sometimes change their baby’s name.
There’s something about waiting to tell others your baby’s name until after he or she has been born because it invites less of a response or opinion (not that anyone is looking for us to comment on the name they’ve chosen).
It’s our job to remember that each baby name has a story, and we don’t always get to know it.
It’s not our business.
We get to think in our minds “I don’t think I’d name my baby that” (that’s a human response) but then we remember how big of a deal it was naming our own children or pets etc., and we get to say “how lovely” or “you picked such a beautiful name for your child!”
Because it’s not about us.
They picked their baby’s name, and that’s what matters.