I'm the guy that which does Love and Capes.
Mark has a good point it will be awkward
Also, the closer the name is to his dad’s name, the more pressure he’d feel
(deliberate or otherwise)
to follow in dad’s footsteps.
Some kids rise to this challenge,
while others lash back & go the opposite direction,
to try to establish their own “identity”.
Now, picture how this dynamic could be magnified when the dad is a “Super”!!!?!
A unique name can be a dad’s tacit way of reassuring him that it’s OK to “be his own person”.
My parents had agreed on a name for me. Unfortunately, at the time I was born my father was testifying before a Congressional committee. My mother had to drive herself to the hospital, and took her revenge by making me ‘Junior’. I was always curious as to what they had agreed upon, but they never said.
Aw, that’s actually really smart and sweet.
Man, Catapult, that’s not fair to you, taking it out on you like that.
And I like the fact that the first name he throws out is Johnathan… A Superman reference, perhaps?
And DMC, about you said on the last page, I agree his life force/soul could possibly end up in that way, but when I imagined Windstar’s reincarnation, it made me think the kid would eventually take over the title or something. xD Blame it on not much sleep due to a brand new 9-5 job.
I’ve never much cared for the “Junior” appellation. To me it smacks of either egotism or lack of imagination. I realise that’s not always the case, but that’s my first reaction… though I will say my feelings tend towards “poor kid” than “shame-on-you parent”.
Speaking as someone named after both of my grandmothers (and named after the names they used, which themselves were nearly identical to each other), I can say that it is painful to be named after someone else still living and in constant contact with your family. Painful in confusion when people call out “Jean!” (or “Bob!” or whatever) and you don’t know which one they mean. Painful when you fight for a sense of identity by having a name with only one variation for a nickname…and your well-meaning grandmother (the only one left alive) changed HER name to that nickname (living a hundred miles away) because of the fuss you made…and then refusing to change it back to what she’d been using.
Self-identity is very important. So I have come up with rules for naming kids:
1. Never name them after someone currently alive and expected to be alive and a part of the family for years to come.
2. You can pick one simple/plain name, but you need to pick one polyphonic/multi-syllabic name as well, the kind that can be turned into several different possible nicknames. i.e. “Elizabeth” = El, Elly, Eliza, Liza, Lizzy, Lizabeth, Beth, Betty, El-Bee…
3. Do not try to be funny. Don’t, for the love of your child, name her “Ima Lima,” Mrs. Bean. Yes, that was the real name of a woman’s daughter who shared a maternity ward room with my best friend’s mother when my best friend was born. Your child will be teased mercilessly, causing your child a great deal of pain throughout their whole life.
4. For the love of acronyms, CHECK THE INITIALS FIRST. If you name your kid Shawn Herbert Iolaus Templeton, Mr. Templeton, you may be honoring his grandfathers Herbert and Iolaus with those two middle names, but you have just named your little Shawn. S. H. I. Templeton. Yeah. Don’t go there.
5. RESPECT THEIR RIGHT TO RENAME THEMSELVES. You can gently steer your kid away from naming themselves anything derogatory or inflammatory, but if your little Bobby Balderburg wants to be called Devlin Balderburg from now on, respect that choice.
@Ladyofthemasque I thoroughly enjoy having a common name that is shared with my father. I get the giggles when his wife calls his name and I respond, knowing she’s not talking to me. I did the same thing at work when I had a boss and two coworkers with the same name. Granted, I have a somewhat mischievous sense of humor that rubs some people the wrong way.
Also, because I have a different middle name, I don’t let people call me junior, partially because I’m a stickler for preciseness, and partially because I think it’s funny to see what people do to try to differentiate Jim from Jim.
I have the same middle name as my mother and my brother has our dad’s first name as his middle name.
Lady, I just love the fact that you used Iolaus as an example. You get cookies.
Never name a kid after yourself or someone you know. On a subconscious level, at least, you’ll try to turn him or her into, well, him or her…
There was no question how to name me. My father’s family has a very clear tradition. First-born sons are named after their paternal grandfathers. I have no brother. My father’s oldest brother was “Frank”, his father was “Anthony”, his father was “Francesco”, and so on.
My parents knew they were expecting twins, but this was long before you could use ultrasound to check babies’ genders before birth. So they came up with pairs of names; if they got 2 boys, they would name them Christopher and Patrick, and if they got 2 girls, they would name them Elizabeth and Katharine.
Somehow, it never occurred to them that they might get one boy and one girl, so of course that was what they got! Now they unexpectedly had to decide *which* boy’s name and *which* girl’s name to use for each of us.
I’m kind of surprised they didn’t use both names as first and middle, but they didn’t. I ended up Christopher and my sister ended up Katharine. I used to wonder sometimes how my life would have been different if my name had been Patrick instead. Probably the main difference would have been that my grandmother would have given me a St. Patrick’s medallion instead of a St. Christopher’s, but who knows? I might have been a whole different person.
© 2015 Thomas F. Zahler