IS A BABY’S NAME IMPORTANT?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

Do you think a baby’s name is particularly important? My wife and I have been thinking of a lot of different names for our baby who is due this fall, including family names of our mothers and grandmothers but we don’t actually really like any of those names even though we’d love to honor them in some way and feel obligated to use some of the names, even if they’re just as middle names, particularly because it’s a family tradition to pass down these names. Any advice?

–Nameless (Brazil)

DEAR NAMELESS:

I do think one’s name is important energetically. It’s up to you and your wife to decide which is more important energetically—choosing a name that honors someone including someone that’s already passed or the inherent energy/meaning of a name. There are a lot of great websites you can google for the history and meaning of particular names for different countries. If you wish, choose a name that you love and that has a meaning you would be proud to call your child.

I understand the feeling of obligation to pass down a family name to your child. Perhaps one option is that you and your wife could create a family tree like my grandfather would make for all of us in the extended family. The family tree would have each person’s name and birth information. You can do one for the baby that includes extended family on both sides of the family, thus honoring Auntie Whatsmyname or any other predecessors, and give a copy to every member of the extended family, saying you started this tradition to honor all of the people in the family, including the ancestors that came before. And as your daughter grows older, you can work with her to keep the family tree updated, sending copies to the relatives at a later date and inviting them to join in online as a family project to keep the family tree current. Perhaps that will give permission to NOT use the family names for other relatives that may also wish they didn’t have to keep passing down certain names that they may not care for either.

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