So last night it happened. The moment I’ve been dreading. And it came outta nowhere. Alli was at her dad’s and Caroline and I had just finished bathing our three little monsters. As the tumultuous trio rummaged through our collection of books, my beautiful wife turned to me and, without warning, uttered three words that nearly brought me to my knees.
“What about names?”
“What about ’em, honey?”
“Time to start thinking of them, don’t you think?”
“Um, no. I mean yes, but no. You’re only 16 weeks. We’ve got some time, still.”
We didn’t come up with the triplets’ names until the night before her C-section. Sure, we had some finalists. Like 15 of them. Ten were boys’, five were girls’. But we never came up with the official combinations until shortly before we drifted off to sleep on the last “normal” day our lives would ever know.
I’ll never forget that night. I stood beside a grease board, dry-erase pen in hand, frantically scribbling down countless combinations — full names uncertainly suggested by the beautiful woman whose lopsided belly contained the three wee beings who’d one day answer to them. Two hours later, our triplets had names and I had a new appreciation for how many different two-entity combinations 15 items could actually form. And a reasonably severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Not to mention a bad taste in my mouth. After all, the process wasn’t a pleasant one. Partly because at 36 weeks pregnant, my wife was armed with the decisiveness of Brett Favre. Not the Brett Favre standing poised in the pocket rapidly going through his progressions. The one pondering retirement. And he only had two choices. My wife had hundreds.
Even so, we managed to find the three we loved most, all of them family-themed.
Yeah. That’s right. We’re the old-school southern types who want their children’s names to have familial significance. Only we vowed to stay away from pretentious sounding combos. You know, the triple-surname names that border on self-parody? Like Wentworth Worthington Gettelfinger? The third?
We eventually came up with:
Samuel Cave Osborne
John Turner Osborne (he goes by Jack) and
Caroline Kirby Osborne (she goes by Kirby).
But, again, it hadn’t been easy. So when my wife suggested we get the process started last night, I was none too enthused. After all, we only had a third of the names to come up with compared to last time, yet we were getting started 20 weeks earlier? Still, I’m no dummy. When she said “Let’s not procrastinate,” I engaged.
“Well, why don’t you get the ball rolling?” I asked.
“How about John Lawrence?”
“Well, Jack’s name is John. And Alli’s middle name is Lawrence.”
“So,” she said. “We don’t address them by either of those names, so I don’t see a conflict with John Lawrence.”
“It just seems so, I dunno, George Foreman to me,” I answered.
“Didn’t he make a grill?”
“Yeah, but before that he was a boxer who had like 12 children, all of whom he named George.”
“Fine,” she said. “Why don’t you come up with some, then?”
“Well,” I began, “we could always get out that list out that my mother put together for us last time.”
“The one with Bomar on it?” she asked in horror.
“Yeah. That’s right. Great-great-great-grandfather Bomar Pennebaker. Don’t be so quick to dismiss it. Bomar’s the new Omar, you know.”
“Really,” she answered dryly. “Never been big on Omar. Nor am I big on another gem featured on your mother’s list — Casper.”
“Even though odds suggest we’d end up with an overwhelmingly friendly child with inviting pale skin?”
“Said the woman who would take fifteen minutes to decide between head and tails,” I replied.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Honey,” I began, “even if you had the perfect name laid before you, you’d still probably balk at it.”
A puzzled look came across her face. One that was impossible to read. I wasn’t sure how she’d taken my observation. Regardless, I genuinely believe that it would be easier for her to name a child if she weren’t…pregnant.
“You’re right,” she eventually said.
“Maybe we shouldn’t start with the naming just yet,” she conceded, right as the wee threesome approached, each with a book in his or her little hands. “We’ve got plenty to worry about without all that.”
Thus, my lovely wife had come full circle. And boy was I relieved. We’ll find the right name. And we’ll find it at the right time. Plus, it’s not like we didn’t get anything done.
We officially took Bomar Casper off the table.