OK, so here’s the little game I talked about yesterday (sorry, Sharon, no prizes)…
I worked for a non-profit called CHARACTERplus from 2002-2007. Most of that time was spent working on a federal grant for the Caring School Community project, which is a program that helps elementary teachers/schools make their classrooms feel more like a community. I’ll spare you the rest of the details for now, but if you’re an elementary school teacher and are interested in more information, post a comment and I’ll contact you.
When I worked for the CSC grant, the first activity we’d always introduce teachers to was “The Story of my Name.” This was a getting-to-know-you activity for the kids, but we also did it with teachers at their training for the program. Basically, you just need to tell the story of why you were given the name you were. Most kids have absolutely no idea, and surprisingly, many adults don’t either. I had to ask my parents about mine when I started doing this training!
No offense, Mom and Dad, but mine isn’t very exciting. My name (Nicole Elizabeth) was just something that they liked. I believe that Matthew was just a name his parents liked, and Lee was his grandfather’s name. But we heard some fun stories in the years of doing this program, from the being named for people from the Bible, family members, or TV characters to finding out that one woman at a training was named for her father’s ex-girlfriend…I’m not kidding.
So I thought it would be fun to hear the story of YOUR names, or, if you want, the story of your kids’ names. Here are ours:
Lucas Jacob: I wanted to name him Bennett, and Matt was completely opposed. As was much of our family (duh. lesson #1 in baby naming: don’t tell anyone! I remember Zach saying he thought Bennett was a kid you’d sit down to tea and crumpets with – we still love you, Zach). Then, he was supposed to be Jackson, until a coworker at the cubicle next to Matt had a baby boy they named Jack 4 months before I was due. We decided we just couldn’t do it. We had talked about Lucas and just finally agreed on the way to Effingham one night. Jacob was what Matt wanted for his first name, but it was entirely too popular and, oh yeah, my brother’s name. So in the end, we did Lucas Jacob, loving that it had both Biblical and family ties. He’s usually only Lucas now if he’s in trouble!
Bennett Lee: Well, I didn’t give up on the name Bennett. I had first heard it when I was working for CHARACTERplus and not one but two of my coworkers had grandsons named Bennett. I just loved it…I loved that it was different, but not so weird that people would ask us to repeat it, and that it met my requirement of being a name that I could shorten. And I liked Ben as a nickname, too. To help me win my battle against Matt, I taught 2-year-old Luke that his new baby’s name was either Bennett or Tyson (a name that comes back later, as you’ll see). Matt finally relented, and we planned on the name Weber for his middle name – see yesterday’s post if this is a mystery to you. When Illinois lost, we didn’t have a middle name for him for sure…we tossed lots of names around in the delivery room, not actually deciding on one before he was born. The next morning, when Matt started calling people, he left a message for some friends saying that his name was “Bennett Lee.” I remember being like, “Um, we didn’t decide that for sure yet, but OK.” Let me just say that I love the name Lee. I just thought that Bennett Lee sounds a bit like a Confederate Army General, but I was willing to concede since I got the first name I wanted. And what’s so funny is that our Bennett is the LAST kid you’d picture eating tea and crumpets with, huh Zach?
Jackson Henry: We were at a loss. We’d already used the names we both liked! The day we found out it was another boy, I started looking for names because I knew it would be a battle with Matt, who is much more conservative in the baby-naming department than I. Matt kept pushing for Jack, and I was opposed because, though I really liked it, there are a trillion little Jacks out there right now. I kept coming up with suggestions that he hated (Tyson topped the list, but all he could think about was chicken, and pointed that out on the interstate one day as we passed a Tyson chicken semi), but we both agreed to consider Henry as a first name. About 8 weeks before the little guy was born, I wrote out a list of possibilities, with Jackson Henry being one of them. Matt read through it, and said, “I like Jack Henry. Like we would call him Jack Henry.” Jackson wasn’t his favorite, but he agreed so that the name would meet my shortening requirement.
So, there you have it! The story of our names. Please share!