Wednesday, August 03, 2011

What's in a name?


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.

Scout 071711 11

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.

6 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

Brooke Buhl said...

There is an art to naming your babe! I love the name Scout...I think you guys did well!

Brooke,
petiteelan.blogspot.com

Meagan said...

I love the name - and seeing her, it fits her perfectly, how could she be anything else now? :) Precious pictures by the way! And people will always have their opinions. I think everyone wanted us to name the twins with cutsie "matching" names but we didn't go that route. And now everyone thinks "Quinn" is a boy's name, but what are you going to do? She is perfectly a Quinn as yours is perfectly a Scout!

Jennifer said...

I love her name! (and I absolutely adore her Scout clothes!). Now that I know the story, I like Scout's name even better. I think she's destined for great adventures in this world.

Plus, I hate it when you tell people the name you're considering and they poo-poo all over it. That's just wrong!

Cheers to Scout!

Chrisknits said...

No problem here. I did wonder if it was a nickname used for internet only, but find it an adorable name, and I never read the book. Our youngest daughter is name Casey Neal, yes, she's a girl. Her middle name is in honor and memory of her uncle, taken at the young age of 16 by a moped/car wreck. Her first name is just as much a boy's as a girl's name. And now, Casey Anthony has to throw a spanner in the mix. Hate that woman on all levels. So, she's determined to change her name when she is legally able to, but we hope she doesn't. She is really a Casey.

jean wilson said...

I like your new blog design. Very nice. I read the About me page and noticed a typo in this phrase "it has been amazingly life-chaning in the best possible way." Feel free to read my blog and find typos...I never see my own until they pop up on the screen...

Anonymous said...

I just started reading your blog and it's adorable! You wouldn't mind doing a post on where you get the cute outfits for Scout--I particularly love the name on the diaper cover--would you, please?!

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