Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Here's the thing, the naming of a baby was much harder than I ever imagined it would be. I thought we'd decide on something as soon as we knew the gender, and that would be it. Though my superstitious side always planned to keep it secret until I could take a look at that little face and make sure it was a good fit. As an aside, there were lots of people who thought we were playing it coy thinking that we knew exactly what her name would be and that we weren't telling. Or worse, they thought that we were telling everyone except them. I assure you that was not the case. Now with a few months distance, I feel like I need to memorialize how we arrived at Scout, because honestly I've been a complete failure at the baby book.
Whenever we talked about names, I always gravitated toward more "old-fashioned" names from a few generations back. Rykert always gravitated toward more unique names. But there was one name that we agreed on from the get-go, and kept coming back to again and again: Scout. Those baby naming conversations were quite circuitous.
When I was 13 or so, I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. Being young and impressionable, I think it had a pretty profound impact on my sense of justice and morality, (I can't believe I just wrote that; it sounds so...so) and I know that I went to law school thinking I would come out transformed into Atticus Finch (the reality of what I discovered in law school deserves its own post.) Anyway, I said, at that early age, before babies were even a glimmer in my eye, that if I ever had a little girl I would name her Scout.
But when we started thinking about names and trying them on for size (Violet, Olive, Harper, Winnie, and on and on), I started getting cold feet about Scout. Was it too obscure? Would people look at us cross-eyed when they heard? Was it too nick-name-y? Suddenly, for one of the few times in my entire life I started getting really really worried about what people would think. Would the name age appropriately? Was it a serious enough name for her Harvard application? And on and on. Rykert, on the other hand, has a very unique family name and takes great pride in the uniqueness of his name. He kept telling me that if I didn't want to pick a name on the social security's top ten list, then I would have to be prepared for some judgement and honestly, did we really care what people think? .
On the day she was born, she didn't have a name. We thought we'd have a few days during the inducement process to come to a final decision. But she was in a hurry. Due to the Ambien hangover I suffered, I was told not to pick a name until I could sleep a bit and come to my senses. So on the second day, she still didn't have a name for most of the day. But then in a fashion similar to how we decided to get married, we looked at each other and said, "OK. Scout." And that was it. And it's a funny thing, names. They always seems to become the perfect fit.
People who know me well, my parents and sisters for example, knew we'd end up naming her Scout though they never said a word. And well, there was some initial questioning and confusion when we first announced her name. And I'm fairly certain that there are people who are probably rolling their eyes behind our backs, but I don't care.
Posted by Libby at 5:41 PM