The Name Game

From the moment your pregnancy test comes back positive, there are a million things to contemplate and prepare for. For me, the naming of my babies was a big of deal as anything else.

With both of my children it was very important to me that their names had definitive meanings. I detest over the top “ethnic” names with absolutely no meaning. Another big thing for me was that I wanted their names to be different but not odd enough that they would need to explain the meaning upon every encounter.

I was younger when I named my daughter. If left solely to my own devices her name would have been Justice Marie. Because Poetic Justice. First and foremost, I am Tupac’s widow. Deal.  Justice was hip without being hood. Justice was a tortured soul and a writer both pluses for me. He was agreeable because one of his best friends was Justin. But in the end, when 20 year old nerds name a baby, she ends up being named after a video game character and a Greek goddess. Those are kind of the rules. As odd as my daughter’s name may seem to others, it means something to us. Her name means something period.

Two years later, I was pregnant with the boy. I was also in love with Tyrese. (Long before he decided he was intelligent enough to do anything besides sing and be fine) No matter what I knew I was going to call my baby Jody. Don’t act like that. Baby Boy. Duh. Seriously though, I was bringing a man into the world. I felt as if his name had to be great. During my pregnancy there were some hard times. I had to remember that this baby’s life was a gift.  What better name to encompass a gift and greatness? His first name means gift from God, and his middle name means fire of the Lord. Josiah was also the king of Judah.  Yes, I called my baby Jody for all of two weeks. My grandmother kept it going for a while longer. I’m sure she would have rolled her eyes and promptly stopped had she known why she was calling him Jody.

My point in all that is this, no matter what you name your child it is your right. The meaning behind your child’s name belongs to you and the person you are sharing the child’s life with. A couple of days ago I skimmed the story about the judge that changed a baby’s name from Messiah to Martin. I assumed that the parents were being ridiculous and kept it pushing. Of course, social media made me take another look. I am fed up.

Setting all religious convictions, thoughts, and feelings aside, you know like a Judge should? What exactly is the problem with this child’s name being Messiah? There are thousands upon thousands of black children with names that I want to slap their parents for, but hey their child their decision. What really irks me is that it seems as if Little Messiah’s parents put some thought into his name and arrived at a thoughtful decision. His siblings both have great names, Mason and Micah so I’m inclined to believe that Messiah’s parents are great baby namers.

As far as the judge goes I get it. I come from a religious background and I would never be so bold as to name my child after God or Jesus. Messiah is a bit pretentious but it’s also a word only given a formal title because of how we use it.  Messiah means is a savior or liberator of a group of people according to Wiki.  But Judge, uh you’re a public servant not the head of Messiah’s church. Who are you to give these people a Bible lesson and strip them of the right to name their son every bit of “crazy” they see fit? How is it that you can strip Messiah and hand them Martin? Am I missing something?

There is always that chance that your kids will hate their name. My daughter is none too pleased by the spelling of her name or the origin. She will deal because she could have been “Shenaynay Alize.” I want to shake my mama and grand mama for ‘Heather’ but the alternative name would have been far worse. Let’s just say that I would have been changing my name on my 18th birthday.

I hope Baby Messiah gets his name back. I kind of like it, but I also hate to see people’s rights trampled upon.


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