Saturday, December 19, 2009

Her initial gift

Naming a child is a huge task. I read in a book that on the day of the birth of your child, the first 'birthday gift' you give him or her is their name. However, it's not a gift that you can return. When you don't know the gender of your future child (we didn't), it complicates matters. Instead of picking a first name and middle name, you have to pick two names for a boy and two names for a girl. Tough.

In our case, Jess and I both thought the baby was going to be a boy. We had no good reason to believe that the baby was a boy other then our superior guessing skills (and look how that turned out). But truth be told, I preferred a boy. Now before you chastise me for admitting this, please understand that I grew up with five brothers. Although I have a handful of nieces, I don't have much knowledge or experience with little girls. Plus, I think it would be fun to coach baseball with my son on the team.

Given our guess that we were going to have a boy, we spent a lot of time talking about boy names. They didn't come as easily as girl names, but eventually we settled on a first name and middle name that we really liked (no, I'm not going to share it). A first name for a girl came much more easily. Early on, we came up with the idea of naming a girl after the place in the world we love so much -- the Riveria Maya. I have a lot to say about that name choice, but I'll leave that for a future blog post. However, the middle name didn't come as easily.

The weekend before Maya was born, Jessica and I were once again talking about middle names for a girl. We had a few ideas, but nothing really spoke to us. And then Jessica suggested something that took me by surprise -- she asked "What if we gave a girl your initials?"

Wow. What an idea. For many years, I've signed my emails "MjD." I've always liked my initials for a few reasons:
1) When I'm hanging out with medical folks, I joke that I'm a "MD" too.
2) I like the shape of 'MjD' -- it's kinda like my own Prince symbol
3) My middle name is actually 'Jay' so I like that my middle initial is my middle name.

After Jess suggested that we use my initials, we looked for a 'J' girl name. It only took a few minutes to pick out 'Juliet' -- we liked it immediately when paired with Maya. Leave it to Jess -- I went from wanting a boy to having a very strong reason to want a girl. And you know what happened....

The first few days after Maya Juliet was born, I was beside myself every time I thought of her name. It still makes me instantly smile when I think that my little girl and I share the same initials. Awesome.

I have many nicknames for Maya Juliet based on her initials (I love nicknames):
- Sometimes I just call her 'MjD'
- I like to call her 'little MjD' or 'mini-MjD'
- I've taken to calling her 'Junior' -- and also 'Junior Mint"
- And my absolute favorite? I call her 'MjDit' (pronounced Midget!)

Like most blog posts, I've written this mostly for me -- years from now I want to remember the details. But if you've read this whole post, I hope that you now how have a better understanding of how Maya got her name and just how meaningful it is for me.

I'm so lucky to have a healthy daughter. And it's extra special to have a daughter with my initials. Jessica gave me the most wonderful gift -- a daughter that shares her initials with me. Amazing.

My little MjDit

1 comment:

Jess G said...

A beautiful name, one of the only that I admire as much than our own daughter's (Sadie Elizabeth). Love the initial sharing too! And though it was not the date you planned, Maya does share Sadie's birth day so I hope you will consider it auspicious...