If an author can watch a character can evolve easily or struggle bring a character to life based simply on a name, then what are the implications for us? I have put a lot of thought into names, not just my own name, but also the three names I selected for my daughters and the one male name I never had the opportunity to use. I have pondered each name and its variations selecting it for rhythm and flow and for impractical things such as how the name sounds when spoken in a variety of circumstances ranging from singing it in a lullaby to calling a child in for dinner. How would the name sound spoken by a teacher, a friend a lover? A name is a critical part of one’s identity and some people don’t like their names, electing to change them. I always liked my name, even though it is short and doesn’t offer much in the way of nicknames. I liked it because my mother used to sing “Once in Love With Amy” to me a lot when I was a little girl and because there was a song with my name in it, I figured it must be a pretty special name.
My mother went through several incarnations of her name, which was Marjorie only calling herself Marjorie when she was singing and being silly or giving her name in the legal sense, at the doctor’s perhaps. For years she was “Marg” with no “e” at the end, a rebellion of sorts and then she finally began adding the “e” when people pronounced her name incorrectly. To many of her friends, she was Margie, a spunkier, chummy version of her name.
I am driving my mother’s car now, with the license plate containing her initials, MK and I like that after a day at work, I walk to the car that is now mine, and smile, remembering my mother and in the morning the license greets me. We are given our name as a gift when we are born and we become our name though we sometimes change the spelling and later add, change or hyphenate our name when we marry, but we are who we were named at the start for that is the name our mother whispers to us, sings to us, calls to us. It is our bond with our mother. Forever.
3 responses to “Chose The Right Name”
This made me a little misty-eyed. I always loved that she and Papoo had the same initials. The MK2 and MK2JR license plates always made me smile (and still do, thinking of them).
I agree that there is so very much attached to a name and put a lot of care into choosing the names of my children. And yes I practiced by calling them to dinner! I am in love with names. It is the first question I ask when someone has a baby or gets a new dog! Mom sang “Nancy with the Laughing Face” to me at times. I do seem to recall your song more though. I think because it was more fun to sing. This post made me sad because I never liked my name all that much, even though Mom chose it and always said she loved it because it was “dainty”! Me…dainty!!!??? Nancy – Nanci – Nancee – Nancie: I used them all! Your last three lines are heart-touchingly true! Lovely post.