Tuesday, October 14, 2008
We aren't your average Morgan or Taylor
Like Three Boys One Mommy, I want to explain the how's and why's of naming my brood of chil'rens...but pervs, stalkers, criminals, and baby stealers beware. I know of certain herbs that can kill you and it will look like you have died from natural causes. And I'm not afraid to shank you just like a chola in East L.A. I will surprise you by hiding my knife in my Aqua-Net feathers. At the very least, I can sit on you....and I'm a big girl so you don't want that.
When I started having children, I had no idea I would just keep having them over and over again. I didn't think I would have to choose my children's names wisely. I didn't realize how many times I would have to write their names down on forms. Or how many times I would have to recite them to strangers. Seriously. Or more importantly, how many times I would have to yell it out day after day after day. And I didn't realize that I had inadvertently named three of the chil'rens with an "S' sound, so I would constantly confuse the three and frustrate myself in the process.
When I was pregnant with my first, I remembered this girl I played softball with. She had a little brother named Noah. I thought it was the coolest name ever because at that time, no one was using this name and it was really unique and different. It really had nothing to do with the fact that Noah was the only holy man God could find so he spared his life and told him to build an ark. Although it made for a very cute nursery. I just remember thinking, I will name my baby that, if I ever have a boy.
Oh, to be young and naive again. Little did I know how I would be quite a big producer of testicles in about ten years.
So when Noah was born, there was no confusion. He would be Noah. I love the name, even though there are usually about four other Noah's whenever we go anywhere.
When I became pregnant with another set of testicles, I was sure of his name, as well. Diego. Of course, after Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. It had such a beautiful, cultural ring to it. And it was unlike any name I had heard. Oh, how I despise to hear go, Diego, go! He hates it too. That cartoon came out way after he was born. That name is so powerful that one of my best friends named her son Diego as well. And another one of my oldest homies said if she had another boy, she would name him Diego, too. One thing is for sure, when you meet Diego, you won't forget him.
When my third son Solomon was on his way, I was testing out three names. One of them was Boaz. Yeh, it's biblical but I couldn't help but see him on the playground later on, surrounded by a crowd of kids laughing and calling him "Bo's ass!!". So that one obviously wouldn't work. The other name was Esai. But that didn't fly because Michael knew I always drooled over Esai Morales from La Bamba. Thumbs down. Bummer.
The interesting thing about Solomon was I had the biggest crush on a boy with name all through high school. But that wasn't why I named him that. It was a coincidence, albeit a strange one. I worried that this little baby wouldn't be able to carry a big name like Solomon. But now that he is eight, it suits him perfectly. My little wise king.
When our fifth son rolled around (the oldest is named after Michael so that's not very exciting), I was fresh out of ideas. I had some room to be creative. I wanted to continue on with the theme of naming them after famous artists but I just wasn't feeling Pablo or Vincent or Salvador or Henri or Egon or Gustav or Arshile.
I actually liked the name Sage. What can I say? I was deep into my herbal studies. Sage means "to heal". Sage is what you burn when you want to drive out evil spirits. But Sage didn't catch on. Too granola, perhaps? Everyone thought it sounded like a girl's name. Whatever. Then I started pondering colors and that's when Cyan came up. Cyan is the color aqua, or a blue-green. And that, my friends, is my favorite color. The color of the ocean. What drives me nuts is when people pronounce it like cayenne. No, it sounds just like si-ann. And don't worry, he makes his name sound masculine because he has alot of thug in him. He got it from his daddy.
Then the heavens opened up for me and I was blessed with a female child. Yes! A girl. No more balls to wipe. I was all excited. Until that first sticky, black meconium diaper that I had scrape off my daughter's goodies. Then the balls were looking mighty fine. I had Maya's name picked out for about nine years. I waited and waited to use it. I threatened excommunication with anyone who was ready to have a baby girl and even thought about that name. That was my girl's name. End of story. Pablo Picasso had a daughter named Maya. That is who she is named after. A cool little story...Maya is taking an art class right now and she actually studied that painting. She told the teacher, "Hey, that's Maya. Just like me!"
And last but not least, there is Xiomara. How do you pronounce it? With an "s" sound...if you are feeling particularly indigenous, then use the "sh" sound. But around these parts, she is Xixi (ceecee) or Peaches (that's what her daddy calls her). For this one, I had to consult baby name books, particularly Aztec names. But I just couldn't name my daughter Xochitl or Coyolxauhqui. I considered Noemi (sounded too much like Noah) and Nayeli (I still like that one). But Xiomara sounded beautiful and different and I loved what it meant: ready for battle. Even though no one can pronounce it, I love it. And it mama is happy, then everyone is happy.
I love all my children's names because they represent who they are as people. And they have blossomed into these wonderful little beings. They have inhabited their names. They are all unique enough to carry the weight of them.