Thursday, July 25, 2013

What's in a Name?

The big question now is always, "do you have a name picked out?" I totally admit that I used to ask my pregnant friends this all the time. I know this question is well-meaning and innocent but honestly I HATE it! Here is why:

1) If I say no, we sound like losers who didn't realize we are having a baby. Like the royal baby, people are like, "Seriously? You've had 9 months to think about this and you really just haven't bothered?"

2) If I say no, I am also lying. Which I don't love.

3) If I say, "yeah, we have a few options but we are going to wait until she is born to choose," I am also pretty much lying, and people wait expectantly to hear what the options are, and sometimes weigh in. Which, last time I checked, I didn't ask for, and also it gets awkward when the ones they like are my decoys.

4) If I say, "we have a name, but we aren't announcing it until she is born," I sound smug and obnoxious. Like "you aren't in my inner circle so you don't get to know." Bleh, no thank you.

5) If I just wimp out and tell them, they never react right! I really don't care what people think of the name we have picked, because, quite frankly, it isn't what they named their kids so we obviously have slightly different tastes. That is expected, and fine. But when I tell them the name and they just stare blankly with no reaction, I DO get a little uncomfortable. Like, "really, it's that bad?" So maybe I care a teensy bit. I am in a fragile state right now.

 For the record, we DO have a name picked out, and we have just chosen to keep it a secret until she is born, mostly because I think it kind of takes the fun out of it if everyone knows before she makes her big appearance. I am breeding a future drama queen here, I have to start early. And I also want a town crier at her birth like Princess Kate got.

There are so few things in life (especially in this day and age) that are a surprise or big news, I think it's just more exciting this way! It's like saving your wedding dress for your wedding day instead of posting your bridals to Facebook two weeks before. For the record we don't even refer to her as her name yet. I mostly call her "little one" or "little girl" or, most creatively, "the baby." I feel kind of superstitious about calling her anything else. I recognize that I am sounding high-maintenance about this, whatever.

I will say that she won't have a middle name. Before we even knew the gender we knew that, should she be a girl, we would not be giving her a middle name. Dave was really understanding about this, which I appreciate, because it is a family tradition in my family that females don't have middle names, and it is a family tradition in his family that kids have Japanese middle names.

As a kid, I actually always wanted a middle name (something really fancy like "Anastasia" just to jazz up "Claire" a little) but when I got closer to marriage I realized that I actually LOVE my maiden name and didn't want to lose it totally! It's a part of who I am, my history and heritage, and it's quite sentimental to me now, actually: Claire Hopkin Mizukawa. Not quite as flashy as "Claire Isabella" or something, but it means a lot to me, especially since the other girls in my family have the same naming pattern for the most part. So this little girl will just be _____________ Mizukawa, and when she gets married, and she gets to keep her awesome maiden name. I figure she still gets a Japanese middle name, it's just a surname, and hopefully it will help her feel connected to both sides of her family, since we are trying to incorporate naming traditions from both sides.

Again, sorry for the super long post! I am journaling today, I guess. And if you ask me if we have a name picked out, sorry if you get an awkward pause and a lack of eye-contact when I make some excuse. You have been warned.


  1. I'm the same as you... I don't have a middle name, either, and plan on my last name becoming my maiden name. It's always fun for me to play the "guess my middle name game." And though I had times I wish I had a middle name, I'm really glad that I don't now.

    I'm now apologizing to mothers and fathers everywhere for asking the "have you decided on a name yet?" question. It's an easy question to ask, but can apparently be a difficult one to answer. But no judgment here if you were to tell me option 4. I wouldn't think it's smug and obnoxious at all. Though I am excited to hear what you guys have chosen.

    Anyways, long comment made short... so excited for you! You're going to make a great mom. :-)

  2. I totally went through all of those thoughts when I was pregnant and hated that question. In the end it took us 2 weeks to solidify the name of our boy regardless of how much we prepared. We got a lot of flack but in the end its no ones business! Next time around I'll just say "you'll have to wait and see."

    Congrats of the upcoming baby Claire! You are looking lovely!