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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Naming Sawyer

Jessica was kind enough to have me guest post for her last week (Visit from a Friend), so this week I am returning the favor. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

If you don't know Jessica there is no time like the present. She is the mother of an autistic teenager, gave birth to triplets and lost one and then had a son that is nearly Lucas' age. Her blog, Four Plus an Angel is beautiful, heartbreaking and inspirational. I'm honored to call her my friend and her writing, her story never ceases to move me.

And so, without further adieu, here she is sharing how she and her husband came up with their son's name.
Since I have my fingers and toes crossed that Tonya will need to pick a baby name some day very soon I thought it would be a perfect subject for my guest post…

My husband and I do not have an easy time agreeing on baby names. Before I got pregnant I had pictured us lovingly laying at opposite ends of the couch, reading off baby names to each other as he rubbed my swollen feet, dreaming of our future child.

He likes classic, typical, ten-million-kids-have-that-name names and I like different, cute, the-only-kid-in-the-class-with-that-name names. By our fifth child the name discussions just about sent me into preterm labor.

I had all kinds of rules in my head. The name could not begin with the same letter as any of our other children. It had to have the same style and feel as the others and it could not, when put with our last name, sound several consonants off from any celebrity. He had one rule. His son or daughter could not be named after any of his previous students. My husband has been a principal for years.

We were screwed.

I used my strategy that has worked well in the past called “hold out until things get intense and then he will give in” and it worked beautifully.

There I was lying on the operating room table with my child’s future in my hands and I picked my dream name.

“Sawyer” he would be.

But here, and only here (because my husband has no idea another blog in the world exists outside my own) I will say, I might have been wrong. I LOVE my son’s name and think it fits him perfectly but there is a chance “basic Joe” may have been the way to go.

See, I don’t really enjoy unsolicited comments, especially when they are about my children and most definitely, when they stop me in my tracks while trying to grocery shop with kids climbing on my head.

For some reason saying “Sawyer” in public has drawn out more comments than pretending I can sing country music and naming him Apple.

I now know that there was a character on Lost named Sawyer. The majority of Sawyer’s devoted fans have stopped me to let me know. Also, apparently there are lots of girls/dogs/streets/last names/ex-boyfriend’s goldfish named Sawyer. And, believe it or not, Sawyer can be mispronounced as SAW-YER (think the tool + “you” with a strong southern accent).

How did this happen? I thought I picked a fool-proof name. I believe I have come to understand that there is no such thing.

Either way, I am sticking to my opinion that I love my little guy’s name and would not change my mind even if he hadn’t already been wearing it in the world for almost two years now.

I will, however, be picking his teachers by class list. I am determined to enroll him with Apple, Sunday and Blue so that his name does not provoke a single comment about the plane that crashed and left him stranded on an island for six straight years of a wildly popular television show that was watched by everyone except for his parents.

I urge you to follow Jessica on Twitter and Facebook and look for her posts, If My Kids Could Blog, because it's hilarious, Sick Day, in which she puts this whole motherhood thing into perspective and her weekly feature, The Hot Seat.

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Blogger Sherri said...

Jessica, this is hysterical! We were just talking about names in the staff room at school today, and there are some doozies out there! Especially here in California. But Sawyer?

So normal. Except for that whole Lost thing.

May 3, 2011 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Naming a child is so hard. So many things to think about. I don't think I have heard of any other kids around here named Sawyer but I think it is a cute name. A lot better than some that I have heard (like Zuma and Hero).

May 3, 2011 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

It is so hard to pick a name that others won't already have a story to tell you about. If people don't seem to like the name Daniel, I just tell them it isn't his real first name. It isn't.

May 4, 2011 at 3:54 AM  
Blogger Varda said...

Love this funny post from you, Jessica! We did the traditional Jewish family thing of using names of deceased family members,or their first initials. It's a good thing our twins didn't turn out to be 2 girls. It was easy for us to agree to 2 boy names, and 1 of each, but we could not for the life of us agree with a girl "E" name.

And for the record? I think Sawyer is a lovely name and strikes that balance of being uncommon but not odd.

May 4, 2011 at 4:11 AM  
Anonymous tracy said...

Oh my word so fun. .and I love his name.

May 4, 2011 at 4:24 AM  
Blogger Desperate Housemommy said...

I so get this. I taught fourth grade for eight years BC (before Cherubs) and swore off a few hundred names during that time frame. Sawyer is outstanding. :)

May 4, 2011 at 4:38 AM  
Anonymous Leighann said...

The best part is where you SLAM Gwennie!!
Also, I didn't know Sawyer could be pronounced like SAW-YER, that's ridiculous.
It may deserve a throat punch?!
Great post.

May 4, 2011 at 5:35 AM  
Blogger Poppy said...

Since you have a teenager, obviously you and your husband have been together for quite some time. We were older when we got married, so the ex factor also narrowed down our naming choices. Skewed more heavily on his side I might add. Sawyer is perfect.

May 4, 2011 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger jillsmo said...

HA! That was the same strategy I used to name #1. Worked like a charm.

May 4, 2011 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Elena said...

I love this post! As you know we have Lanagan (VERY unique) and then Cooper (somewhat unique). I get stopped all. the. time. and asked about Lanagan's name! I'm so glad I never made the Sawyer/Lost comment to you. Oh, and your husband is right - it's shocking how some students can absolutely ruin great names!

May 4, 2011 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I totally wanted to name any girl child I had Emma. Loved this name for years, way before I had any children. Then a little show called Friends used that name for Rachel's baby and suffice it to say, my daughter's name is NOT Emma!

May 4, 2011 at 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Kris said...

We went with unique.

Maj and Kallan.

Maj's name has turned out to be much more problematic for people than I imagined.

But I don't care.

I love Maj's name.

It suits her.

May 4, 2011 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Kir said...

this was so adorable...we never really disagreed about names for our kids. We had 4 (2 girl /2 boy) picked before we even got pregnant, but John did resist Giovanni at first, thinking it sounded so "ethnic" but I held firm...and now that Jacob is always on popular name lists I wish that it wasn't...but it doesn't make me not like it any less. (and since we're Catholic a lot of people ask why we picked a Jewish name for him...UGH..I didn't I picked a name for a very good but Very LONG reason)

I loved this and love the name Sawyer.

May 4, 2011 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Not Just Another Jennifer said...

So cute! We struggled, too. I also wanted something unique - not bizarre - but DH wanted fairly popular names. I had one rule - it couldn't be in the top 50 most popular names. (Uh, hello, I'm Jennifer - not going to do that if I can help it.) Our oldest was 32. Eh, I could deal with that. Our youngest? 14. We argued about it for a long time. The problem was that I really liked it even though it was in the top 20. So I caved. And have regretted it every time we've been around another kid with the same name. But I still like it.

PS Love the name Sawyer. Loved "Lost", too. :)

May 4, 2011 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Well, as someone who has a Sawyer - who was born before Lost came out, thankyouverymuch - I can say it remains my absolute most favorite boy name ever. It's why we had a tough time naming our second boy: no name could compare. The majority of comments we get are about how much people love the name. It's unique without being outlandish, and it fits a boy or a man.

My only complaint? Are the girls named Sawyer. It's such a boy name to me it's like naming your daughter David or Larry. ;)

May 4, 2011 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I, too, don't watch Lost, but learned the hard way that there is both a Jack (our dog) and a Kate (our oldest). So I hear ya on the Lost thing!

May 4, 2011 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger blueviolet said...

Don't slap me, but when I heard Sawyer, I admit that the character immediately popped in my head.


May 4, 2011 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Sluiter Nation said...

so my child is named Eddie.


and then of course there is that whole vampire thing.

which he is NOT named after and I refuse to read just because it is a pain in my ass now.


May 4, 2011 at 4:04 PM  

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