I’m pretty much the world’s worst secret keeper. I mean, when it’s something really important I can maintain secrecy, but if it’s not, well, then I’m going to tell someone. But I always try really hard to tell someone unrelated to the situation. I recently learned that I come by my poor secret keeping honestly. When I told my mom that we were pregnant and to keep it quiet, she turned around and told a class of 30 people because the discussion prompt was to share someone no one else knew. See, it’s not my fault.
But the baby name was one secret I didn’t really feel too compelled to keep. I haven’t shared it online because my husband still hasn’t decided whether he’s going to let me use the baby’s real name on my blog or here, but I have felt somewhat comfortable sharing the name in person with people I know.
Felt being the operative word. I’ve decided I’m finished sharing our baby name (except with family and VERY close friends) until after our little man arrives because I just cannot take the comments any more.
The vast majority of reactions have been great and frankly, nothing anyone says is going to change our mind. And to be clear, I would never expect everyone to like our baby’s name, in the same way that I certainly don’t love what all my friends or acquaintances name their kids. That’s just normal, we all have opinions and biases. But, I guess I always assumed that people would be able to keep their reactions polite.
I was clearly mistaken.
Last week a NICU nurse I was working with asked me what we were planning on naming the baby. When I told her, she got a strange look on her face. And then she replied, “don’t you think that’s kind of a black baby’s name?” I was kind of dumbfounded, primarily because I didn’t realize that names were restricted to one race or ethnicity, but secondarily because the name is biblical and pretty common. And in my research, it doesn’t seem to have a strong predisposition to any one group of people, except perhaps those who are religious. (I won’t comment on how completely bizarre that nurse’s first name was, because that would be mean.)
But that’s not all.
The next week I told someone else, against my better judgment, and her reply was, “wow, that kid is going to have the Jewiest name ever.” Now, we are Jewish, and yes, it is an old testament name, but seriously, does that seem like an appropriate comment? Let’s not even discuss that our middle name could hardly be less Old Testament biblical or that naming your child something with religious ties isn’t really a bad thing.
When did we forget how to say, “Oh that’s cute!” or “What a nice name!” I mean, come on, I think plenty of names are ridiculous, but I’d never criticize them in front of the mother or father. Especially not a crazy hormonal pregnant woman. It has not dissuaded us about our name choice, but it has definitely dissuaded me from sharing it.
Henceforth, when asked what we’ll name the baby, my answer will either be, “we’re still deciding” or “it’s a secret.” Because I’m honestly starting to fear what absolutely insane response we’ll get next. You can just call him baby.