I was having a conversation with a few friends recently about how they named their children. One had decided several months before her daughter was born on a name they just liked. The other had decided more than a week after her daughters birth and went with a family name. I’ve met people who love their own names or hate them. Even people who regret their children’s names. Name stories fascinate me. After all, names say a lot more about the parents than they do about the children.
In truth, we’ve had Bennett’s name picked out for years.
It all stemmed from a rather unusual conversation we had when we first started dating.
“What would my name be if I, you know, didn’t have a Persian name?” N once asked.
“Ben.” I replied. Because I just knew.
N has never loved his name. His name is Persian and because he does not speak Farsi, he feels like it’s a little misleading. Like he has the name but not the culture to back it up. For the record, I think his name is beautiful.
I’d never met (and still haven’t) a Ben who was a huge jerk. To me, a Ben wasn’t the guy who would break your heart. He was a nice guy. A good friend. Someone your parents would like and who would get along with your friends.
I don’t know why it came to me so quickly that N looked like he’d be a Ben. Probably because he was all of those things. He was the nice guy (who for once, I didn’t friend zone because I was so attracted to him) that I’d always hoped to fall in love with. From then on when I imagined the possibility of children, I always thought our boy would be Ben.
On long car rides in the years before we even had a child we’d bounce names back and forth and try to come up with something we’d agree on to use one day.
Our last name starts with a B (I don’t use my last name here but just know that it does) and the alliteration with Ben just sounds really great. Our last name is Persian so we wanted something classic and uncomplicated for the first name (since we’re always spelling or pronouncing our last name for people).
We were sold on Ben but not Benjamin. Maybe it’s the three syllables thing, since our names both have two. Bennett got tossed out there once and we both loved it immediately. It reminded me of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice.
Prior to Ben’s birth, we didn’t buy things with his name on it or anything. We didn’t call him Ben or Bennett when I was pregnant. I was nervous that he’d come out and I’d take one look at him and know that he wasn’t actually Ben. When he arrived, there was no hesitation. We had no other names in mind and definitely none that we agreed on. He had to be Bennett.
Naming our next kid should be fun because Bennett is really the only name we’ve ever been firm on. When we found out he was a boy, I think we were both relieved for that reason. Now we didn’t have to try to agree on a girl’s name!
I think it’s kind of funny now when people use his full name. It sounds so formal to me. I don’t know that we ever intended to not use his full first name – Bennett – but we rarely do. He became just Ben so quickly but I am glad that he’ll have an alternative to Ben if he’s in class with another Ben (and not just Ben B.) and a spiffy name to put at the top of his resume some day.
I still love his name and I’m so happy he’s our Bennett.
How did you get your name? Or how did you decide on a name for your children?