My thirteen-year old son resents having a common name, Joe. He longs for a more exotic moniker. Perhaps Zak or Xander.
Growing up named Demetra (Demi) Baferos is something I’d wish on no child. In rural West Virginia I was called everything from Demmie to Dummy. I received Valentines addressed to “Dime”.
In the Greek tradition I was named after my paternal grandmother. When I finally met my Greek family at age seventeen, I discovered three other cousins named Demetra. There are hundreds of Demetras in Greece. Finally a place where I could find my name on a pre-printed bookmark or bracelet! If only I could decipher the alpha-beta.
It would be a half-truth to say my child’s name was only a reaction to living with my own complicated one. Actually, he was “the Joey” long before he was Joe. But I seriously doubt he’s ready to hear about the front pockets on my maternity bathrobe and how we named him after a baby kangaroo.