SR and I are not the only couple in the history of the world to have had trouble deciding what to name their son. But I wasn't expecting it. Even before I got pregnant with The Lorax, SR and I had the following discussion: "What is your favorite boy name?" "Christian." "Really?! That's mine, too!" End of discussion. I can't remember who said what, but I don't think we fully appreciated the coincidence that two people from different continents would share the same favorite boy name.
But finding a name for our second son has been a huge challenge. I amm trying not to see it as some sort of sign - that when we fell in love, we were in this harmonious state, simply agreeing without much discussion and now, well...
But the truth is, it's even more our parents and families that can't agree. Names that work in Denmark don't work as well in the US and vice versa. Of course we could choose Jakob, Thomas, Daniel, Oliver, Erik or Jesper, but we just can't get ourselves excited about those names. We like somewhat unusual names. We had actually decided on the name Vitus (after Vitus Bering, the Danish explorer who discovered the strait of his namesake). SR's parents loved it. And then we mentioned it to my family and we realized a big problem: though it's pronounced VEE-toose in Denmark, as my sister said, everyone would call him Gingivitis in the US. And that's probably not good.
There are many Danish boy names that simply would never work in the US: Egon, Jerk, Thor, Kim, Toke, Knud, etc. And typical American names tend to sound low-class in Denmark. I did have to laugh, though, when I saw Chastity-Hope was one of the top female names in Germany right now!
My favorite names are simply set-ups for rejection in both countries. They are, after all, very gay: Jean Michel, Sufjan, Orlando, Clair, etc.
The best men's names, in my mind, are unique, musical and fitting of the person, place and time:
Gabriel García Márquez
Perhaps our biggest problem is we don't have a "place". If we were staying in Denmark, we'd call him Vitus. If we were permanently in the US, we'd call him Sofus (also a Danish name, but just not as cool here - often used as a name for bunnies, etc.).
But isn't it also fitting that we would finally come to an agreement today on a run together? Somehow The Lorax put up with over two hours in the jogger - maybe because the weather was nice and his parents were in a good mood. Part of it was definitely that we did hill repeats in the woods and SR treated it like a roller coaster. The Lorax screamed and laughed. The name we decided on was actually a name I stumbled upon, not realizing it was a name invented by Astrid Lindgren in the book Ronia the Robber's Daughter. It's not certain we'll use it, but it is nice to be in agreement! Oh yeah, I didn't write the name on purpose, people. The biggest question is whether or not we should ask the opinion of others.
I have to add that SR and I both went on to run almost 4 hours. It was a great day of preparation for the Chippewa 50k, though maybe a bit much considering our marathon next weekend.
Now a music video simply simply because it's beautiful:
Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.
"Children are fascinated by the ordinary and can spend timeless moments watching sunlight play with dust. Their restlessness they learn from you. It is you who are thinking of there when you are here. It is you who thinks of then instead of now. Stop. Let your children become the teachers and you the student" - William Martin