What's in a Name?

Apparently quite a bit.

So for those of you expectant parents, I suggest the name “Lugono Anela”, which supposedly means “sleeping angel”. Yep, I think that’s what I’d go with in hindsight.

I’ll start with Sheridan. Her name means “wild”. We paired it with middle name Alayne, which means “beauty”. Wild beauty, that's kind of nice, right? You know, like the long flowing hair, bright sparkly eyes sort of thing? Now of course I think my daughter is beautiful and all. But right now she seems to be giving more air time to her first name. Way more.

She fell down the stairs for the first time (top to bottom) this week. She cried a bit, and then not 5 minutes later, she took my hand and tried to drag me back up the stairs (she wanted to walk up, not crawl). It seemed like her way of saying to her hard-wood assailant, “Is that all ya got?”

But it isn’t just her fearless indifference to pain and consequences that makes her my official wild child. She also regularly pushes limits. Mine. Hers. Caed’s. Any limits will do, really, as long as she can push them. And if she can’t push limits, she’ll settle for buttons. Or slamming doors. Did I mention she has also endured a bloody lip and pinched fingers from the door slamming, and yet, this prolific practice continues with no lesson learned? (Only lesson learned here is this--don’t name your child “wild one”.) Indeed, I’m already praying for greater grace as age thirteen approaches.

And then there is Caed. He’s compliant, thoughtful and sensitive. (Don’t get me wrong--he still has the crazy energy of an almost 4 yr old boy, often exhibited at the most inopportune times). But he’s starting to scare me. His name means “Warrior” or “Battler” in the Gaelic. Yesterday, he revealed his namesake to me through his imagination. He solemnly reported that the wild animals were all trying to eat Baby Dani, and that he used his knife to cut them so they wouldn’t be alive anymore, and so that they couldn’t bite her.

He was almost beaming with pride as he recounted the pretend protection he provided to his little sister. Okay, that’s not so bad, you might think. Well, it gets a little worse. The day before the wild animals were on the prowl, he was pretending to be a soldier. Again, he was “cutting the bad guys”.

When I asked him where he learned about, ahem, “cutting”, he replied that he had seen a picture in the “God Book” (aka the Children’s Bible). I have to say, of all the media that might lead my child down the path of violence, I wouldn’t have guessed it would be the Bible. But alas, I checked out the picture he was talking about, and there it was, a picture of Abraham preparing to sacrifice his son Isaac, knife and all.

(To the editors of the Children’s Bible, I just have to say, “Really?? THAT’s the image that you had to depict out of hundreds of other possibilities in the vast recording of Hebrew history, most of which would be MUCH easier to explain to a 4 year old!”)

With all this namesake nonsense, I find myself wishing that my parents had thought to name me “Sabira Breanna Sage”, which means, “Patient, Strong & oh soo Wise”. Because that’s the kind of name I think I might need to rear my wild one and my warrior!

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