It’s a…GIRL! Two weeks ago my husband announced these words as our second child was born as the sun rose at 6:56 am on September 27th. My first thought was-WHAT? and my second thought was…OH NO. Of course I think that sisters are the best, but I was completely convinced leading up the birth that it was a boy. The “oh no” came from the fact that we had NO girl names that we both loved, and I knew we’d spend the next two days in the hospital stressing about what to name this tiny, perfect little being. And stress we did. Literally I felt sick to my stomach as it came down to the wire and we had to fill out the paperwork with the clock ticking during our check-out time. We have a photo of me looking pained as my pen hovers over the social security paperwork!
Naming another human being is a BIG deal. Will their initials spell something weird? How many syllables go well with a one syllable last name? Are there nicknames (some good, some bad)? Does it reflect both sides of our family and our Irish/Scottish heritage? Is it popular now? Will it become too popular? (this is the kiss of death for me, having grown up as one of a million Sarahs). On the other hand, is it too weird? Does it go well with our other daughter’s name? Will it look decent on a resume or a sports roster? Does it sound too much like a law firm? What does it mean? (one Irish name we loved was out of the running because it meant “little dog” and I just couldn’t get over it–my husband thought I was being ridiculous!) So many names were dismissed because my husband and I both used to work at schools and now associate certain names with former students. But the questions go ON AND ON when you are stuck. Is it…too Southern…too hard to pronounce…too gender ambiguous…too unusual? Do our friends already have a child with that name and will they be mad if we also use it?
After lots of stress, we finally settled on a family name–Farrell–my old middle name/mom’s maiden name, paired with a clearly female middle name–Elizabeth–which is both of my husband’s grandmothers and also my great-grandmother’s middle name…and there we had it. It’s Irish, the initials aren’t terrible, and it represents both sides of the family and part of my old name. I’m horrible at making huge decisions and then feeling good about them, so when the insurance guy on the phone couldn’t pronounce it (oh! like the singer- Pha-rrell!!), or when people give me weird looks when I tell them the name, I cringe, but I’ll come around. We put a lot of good thought into it. And if she doesn’t love it, she’s always got her middle name.
So, welcome to Farrell Elizabeth. Much like your sister, you are tall and skinny, and arrived into the world pretty quickly. You have hands that can already palm a basketball and feet the size of your dad’s. So far you are a lot of work and are giving us all a run for our money; but when you’re not eating or crying, you’re pretty darn cute.
Do you have a name story? Do you love or hate your name or initials? Do share!!