Naming a Baby: What is our process?

We have now named five children, and it seems we have unofficially fallen into a standard baby naming process in the Hutchinson house. For those of you reading and asking, "are they planning to have more children," our standard answer is, "only the Lord knows." We do not plan to have a Duggar household, but if the Lord brought us another child after this one, we certainly would not be disappointed for, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." (Psalm 127:3) We seek to trust our Creator when He speaks. Spurgeon agrees when commenting on Psalm 127 he says, "He gives children not as a penalty nor as a burden, but as a favor." Spurgeon also adds, "they are 'doubtful blessings' only because we are doubtful persons." After all, does anyone look back after having children and think, "I sure wish little Tommy would not have been born?" Much more could be said on this topic, but I need to return to the intended discussion. What is our "standard" baby naming process?

It all begins when my wife informs me that she is pregnant, and I say something along the lines of, "that's great!" After a few days of wondering if I am nervous or disappointed due to my lack of outward emotional response, she asks, what I'm thinking about the baby. I explain that I am excited and her confidence increases slightly, but she is not yet fully convinced. Over the next few days she plans out how to approach me about the name. Interestingly, I have never been upset or shown anger or any other emotion around this topic that I know of, but she seems to cautiously approach me at first every time. Also, during all this time, I usually haven't thought once about the baby. You may be tempted to think of me as an awful person at this point, but consider my standpoint in thinking that this child will not be born for 9 months, and my interactions with the child will be greatly limited (or non existent) while it grows in mommy's belly. Again, I am only presenting reality and not defending my ways here :).

After the initial discussion between my wife and I is rather fruitless in regards to selecting a name, she begins to email me a list of names every three or four days asking which ones in the list I like. I usually glance at these emails and move on as I receive these while at work on my way to a meeting or while working to resolve a high priority support issue. The problem is that nothing really jumps out to me as the obvious choice nor do I usually see anything I even like. I have come to find out there are a few reasons for this which I expound elsewhere. This "game" continues for some time and I will respond with a few names that seem intriguing to me. Eventually she begins narrowing down her larger list of names shes likes by comparing it with whatever names she has been able to glean from me. This narrowed list usually consists of less than 10 combinations of names, and is often much fewer.

The next step in our process if for my wife to begin putting the names together in first/middle name combinations and typing them so I can see them visually. She also begins bringing in the meanings of the names, which is important as I've noted elsewhere. It is her practice to dive into the meanings of names throughout this process, but once the narrowed list is formed the meanings move to the forefront.

This seems to be when I jump heavily into the process. Granted I do not become immediately deeply focused, but I grow into it. By this point, the names have been filtered by several categories each consisting of certain unspoken rules, which were somewhat unrecognized by us until I began to consider penning this post. My wife usually patiently yet agonizingly waits for me to settle in on something I like so we can discuss further and finalize. This actually takes time for me, though, because the name simply has to grow on me. Finally, we sit down for about a 30 minute period and review the first/middle name combo that seems to have floated to the top of the list. We weigh it one final time together against all of our previously unspoken criteria, and the selection is complete. This procedure probably produces more anguish and excitement in our house than national signing day for college football does for sports fans across the nation, but it has become the Hutchinson family baby naming process. Feel free to utilize this method for your household as it has worked for us five times now, and we have no plans to patent it.

And as for the question noted above about whether we plan to have more children or not, the naming process may prove to be the deciding factor as it wears on my wife, and has become increasingly difficult as there apparently are not too many names that meet our previously unspoken criteria!

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