a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Naming Nugget

I got a text tonight from the husband of my good friend Shelley. He once had a dream that Shelley left him and he called me to try to find out where she was. The version of me that existed in his dream replied, “I will help you make contact with her once, but after that it’s up to you to fix things for yourself.”

Apparently, even in people’s dreams I can be pretty intimidating.

Anyway, luckily he wasn’t texting to find out where Shelley had run off to (which would never happen in real life, only in some twisted dream-state). Instead, he was contacting me to let me know Shelley is in labor.

They already have a beautiful two-year-old boy with melt-your-heart blue eyes, so this will be their second baby boy. I congratulated him and asked him to keep me posted. Then, I got bold enough to put in my vote for the baby’s name.

That’s the thing. The baby does not yet have a name. Shelley referred to her first son, Jacob, as “Sprout” while he was in the womb. This one has been referred to as “Nugget.” Even though Jacob was “Sprout” up until the day he was born, I knew Shelley already had his name in mind.

This time, she is completely unprepared (Shelley and unprepared DO NOT go together). She had settled on a name, only to find out two weeks ago that her husband isn’t really sold on that name.

What a responsibility! What if they get the name wrong? Is that possible?

This got me to thinking about what is in a name. My parents thought I would be a boy based on my heart rate. So, I was supposed to be named Douglas. Then, when it was clear that I was a girl, my parents picked the name Sally. When my mom thought it looked like I was not going to have blond hair, she changed her mind (whoever heard of a brunette named Sally?) and settled on Christy. Who would I be if I had been named Sally? Wouldn’t it have made a difference?

Is there time to change my vote?


  1. maybe your alter-ego could be named Sally. She could be fearless and do all the things you might hesitate doing.
    I was supposed to be a Matthew (and came out a girl). So I always said my first son would be named Matthew. But we call him Buddy most of the time - Matthew when he's not paying attention to me or in trouble.

  2. I was called Lisa all the way up until my father, just before my church christening, said to my mother, "How about Elizabeth?" She said sure and so I am Elizabeth. I've often wondered about how my life would have been had I stayed a Lisa. Do our names make us? Or do we make our names?

    Elizabeth, the Queen
    (my father's nickname for me)

  3. I have often thought about names as well. My sister is Karrilee and I am Loralee. I think it's weird that we both have lee. :0) I think I would rather be just Laura. My parents had a little girl between us but she passed away. Her name was Laureen <3...Mom said my name wouldn't have been Loralee if she had lived. I wonder what it would have been...Hmmm...