Mr. Blandings and I are totally stumped on baby boy names this time around. In the past, a particular name has come to one of us, and we've just known. By the time we say it out loud to the other partner, it's a foregone conclusion. Then the spouse simply nods and says, "Yep. That's it."
Naming? Box checked. Let's move on to clothing the little person ...
But this time around--nothing. Starting to get a little desperate, I requested a bunch of baby name books from our local library and threw them in random spots throughout the house. The living room. The bathroom. The bed side table. "Pick one up occasionally and let me know if you see anything that sounds decent to you," I shrugged. Mr. Blandings agreed. We don't usually operate like this but hey ... we've used most of our favorite names. Give us a little slack, o.k.?
Anyhow, one of the volumes is specifically a "Classic Biblical Names" book. It's been a hoot to look through, primarily because I'm pretty sure that Mephibosheth will never, ever make a comeback in the range of the top, oh ... 5000? Maybe I'm wrong. But something tells me that I'm safe on that one.
Just seeing the names, though, has been fascinating. While I realize that most everyone puts a lot of thought into tacking a label on their child for life, when you realize the depth to which peoples of ancient times strived to truly give their child the right name, well ... it's kind of humbling. I'm pretty sure no one back then was looking for alternate spellings or checking the Social Security lists to make sure that the name they picked was common enough to be recognized without being overdone. No, it pretty much seemed to work like this: You were born after your momma begged God to open her womb. So you're Salathiel, "Whom I asked of God." Period.
Then there are those Biblical names that have unfortunately been sullied somewhat by less-than-savory characters. It would take a pretty bold person to name their son Judas, don't you think? And how about Ananais? Even though there was an Ananais of note in the New Testament who was summoned by God to open the newly-converted Paul's eyes, there's also the big bad priest guy. Guess which one most people think of first?
At any rate, naming is a serious business. When done with prayer and thought, it speaks over our children, encourages them to live up to a blessing bestowed upon them, and gives them a sense of place in the world. When done poorly, it's a jacket that never fits or, worse, a burden to bear.
We'll keep looking for a name for Seven. Our prayer right now is that if we walk into the hospital with no name--or the wrong name--that God will provide the right one. I'm not even opposed to waiting a few days to see what fits. That has never happened before, but hey, I've never been 35 and pregnant, either.