Friday, January 22, 2010

What's in a name...

Today as I said "Delilah" for the millionth time I thought to myself "I really do like her name." I'm always wondering what other parents think when they name their children, what the story behind it was, if it was a tug o war with their spouse, or say if they just picked if off a place mat, I like to know back stories. With that in mind I thought I would share the story behind Delilah's name.

It started when I was 14 or 15 and in Sunday school. I was at the old Burton Lane building in one of the two classrooms upstairs. It was a HUGE Sunday school class, as I think about everyone in it I would guess 15-20 teens. We were a terrible class and went through several teachers from what I can remember. Anyway we were in class and of course learning about Sampson and Delilah. I remember when we first started talking about Delilah I thought.
"What a pretty name. I'm going to name one of my daughters that. I wonder why I've never met a Delilah, It's such a beautiful name. Oh.. that sucks, too bad it's such a pretty name."

Obviously I didn't think about this again until we became pregnant. Now I've always had a list of possible baby names in my mind but when the time came that I was actually going to be naming a human being I suddenly went into research mode. I mean this is a big deal, this is a HUGE deal. I was going to name someone and what I chose for them would be their name for the rest of their life THAT'S A LONG TIME!!! Collin and I took this decision seriously. We both wanted the perfect name for our child, one that would be fitting for a child, a woman, a mother, a daughter and a resume. We wanted it to be strong but still feminine, unique but not unheard of.

*Many of you know I was reluctant to share names we were thinking of with others. It's because people feel like it's their job to tell you their opinion regarding the name you have chosen, and then tell you what name they think you should name your child. It really annoyed me, and I can't emphasize REALLY enough. I have since tried really hard now to always tell people I LOVE the name they are naming their child because my opinion doesn't matter at all. They could be naming their child butt face and I would say "oh that is fun". Not MY place to tell them I don't like the name. I told a group of girls I going to school with some of the names off of this first list and one of the ladies said "OH MY GOSH!! That is an old woman's name you CAN'T name her that!!!" regarding Hazel. Since then my lips were sealed.

Draft one: this list was in my planner and I would mainly write down names I thought of or heard.
Notice two things; Delilah is listed and so are Ruby and Violet, names that my two sisters eventually named their daughters born in the same year as Delilah. Anna, who eventually named her daughter Ruby, tried several times to convince me to name Delilah Ruby, but I kept thinking "I can't name her that, what if she has red hair?" This same reasoning is why Scarlet got crossed off the list.

Draft two: this list is a list that Collin and I came up with together it was a little more official and each name had a reason behind it.

Notice on this list Delilah is crossed out. I loved the name Delilah but I couldn't name my daughter a name that means "to seduce". I mean my name means "like God". I couldn't do that to my daughter, I wouldn't think of it! I made several lists, Delilah always made it on but was always the first to be crossed off.

The last list: this is the last list we made together. Collin underlined his favorite, notice Delilah didn't make the list.
We had narrowed it down to Gwyneth or Scarlet well at least Collin had. I still didn't love either one and I couldn't name my child Scarlet if she was a red head. So we put it off until the hospital. We decided we would wait until we met her to name her. I kept reading the baby name books and looking online and trying to find the perfect name for our baby girl, but we quit making lists.

One evening when I was probably 8 1/2 months pregnant Collin was on the computer and I was nesting (rearranging a closet) it was a plain evening nothing much going on. We were skimming and listening to music when it came on. You all know what I'm going to say "Hey there Delilah" by the plain white Tees. I immediately said "Don't skip this song I like it". Collin said I like it too, and then we looked at each other and for a moment I felt like we both thought the same thing. We talked about it and I still couldn't bring myself to do it. I COULDN'T name her Delilah!! I COULDN'T.

So on April 2nd 2008 we went to the hospital to have our little girl. When I was in labor the nurses would ask "Do you have a name?" and we would say "we have a short list" and they would smile and go about their work. Delilah was born and we held her and loved her for a short amount of time when Collin and I looked at her then at each other, we didn't say much but we knew what her name would be. He looked at me as if asking and I nodded and he went and shared the good news that Delilah had joined our family.

Even after bringing her home I was nervous about it. What if I regretted it, what if she wasn't a Delilah, what if she hated her name? I eventually was less nervous and more proud of my daughter's name. I now regret nothing and know there is no doubt in my mind

She's not a Scarlet
She's not a Gwyneth
She's not an Olivia or a Ruby
She is obviously and undoubtedly a Delilah and she's all mine.

PS. Her middle name is Mae. Originally her middle name was going to be Day (my mothers maiden name) with whatever we were going to name her, but Delilah Day didn't go. We decided we would make it Mei (Chinese for beautiful) because she was going to spend most of her first year in China (plans changed). Her Chinese name would be mei-mei and since obviously she is in no way Asian descent we did the American spelling Mae. (if you watch ni hao kai lan, there is a character named mei-mei)


Anna said...

super cute. I like her name, I love her and her sweet face. :)
Your hair is SOOOO Long!
I love her name. :)

Cindy said...

Her name is so original and seems to really fit! I love lots of your list names too, Isabel, Scarlett, Hazel are some fav's. And I guess that means my Maymay is beautiful too :)

Mary Lou said...

Thanks for sharing that story. I think Delilah is the perfect name for our sweetheart. Love the picture, you both look great! Can't wait to see you guys!

Eve said...

Oh you are so brave to post all of your names here. I agree with you - it is so tacky to say anything about a name but nice things. Sometimes if I REALLY don't like a name I just won't comment. But if I ask a pregnant lady to her face, I just lie. :)

How cute would it be if someday Delilah has a sister named ______ Day? I would die. Especially if she were Hazel Day. SUCH CUTE NAMES.

Suz said...

It was really fun to read the story behind the name. I am surprised you had such a long list of girls names- Rand and I don't agree on any. We'll be in trouble if this baby is a girl!! :)

Jody and Alex said...

I couldn't agree more with you about naming babies. I still have people ask me to repeat what I said when I tell them I named my baby Elsa. I get "that's an old woman's name" too! Delilah is perfect!

grandma blair said...

I love her name and I always have. She is truly a Delilah! Love your hair!

Lauren and Carter said...

Carter and I have been thinking about names a lot lately. (**Not an announcement of any kind.**) And we hardly ever agree on anything...although we do so far have 2 boys and 1 girl name. And people really would tell you they didn't like names? I can't even imagine...I ALWAYS tell someone the name is cute, even if I think it's hideous. Anyway, I also loved hearing this story - I love knowing those too!

Betsy said...

Love the story and love that sweet Delilah. Can't wait to see you guys soon! PS - I don't mind when people tell you they don't like the names you are thinking of, it's not set in stone, but once you've been named it is really rude to comment then. I have one of those old-lady names and I hate hearing it dissed. I love my name.

Brandon and Kassidi Bridge said...

I really LOVED reading this post! I love that we have similar taste in names as well...many of those names were on our list. This has obviously been on my mind since Baby boy will be here in a few short months. We LOVE old old names, and so people including my parents were like WHAT? with Hazel. But she's most definitely a Hazel. And all of my baby boy names are just as old. Thanks for the confidence. We're naming him whatever we choose. It's no body else's choice but ours :).