21 December 2010

my favorite comment about my name/what's in a name?

When you have an unusual/unique name like Vale, you get lots of comments. Over the years these have ranged from, "oh Vale, is that a family name?" or "how did your parents think of that?" or "were your parents big skiers?" or "did your parents love Colorado a lot?" these are among the top sayings I've heard multiple times. However, this morning after meeting someone at the gym and saying my name I heard (for the first time mind you): "Vale, that's custom! I like it." Just thought if you meet anyone who has a unique name you might want to use this comment too, I thought it was kind of fun.

On the topic of names, I thought I'd just say that picking a baby name can be extremely tough. It is hard to imagine someone's personality and who they will become but in a lot of ways I think we live up to or grow into our name. Picking a name for Aven was tough but I cannot imagine her as anything else now that she is growing into a little girl with personality. The hardest part was picking a name that my husband and I could both agree on. We had picked out the name Aizza (I pronounce this name A -long a- Za) Rose. About 6 months before we had Aven and before we found out we were having a girl, Abe's sister had a baby and named her Asha Rose....which we decided was too confusing and much too close to our name! So, we had to start at the drawing board. I also found out my cousin was expecting a baby about a month before me. When I found out she was having a girl I was excited but she hadn't picked out any names. By the time I heard about the name she'd picked, we had already decided on Aven but strangely enough, my cousin picked Ava Rose (very close to Aven's name and the same middle name we were going to choose originally!). Now, the three granddaughters on Abe's side are: Ariel Faye, Asha Rose and Aven Lily (all A names).

There were several names I liked but Aven was the one I kept coming back to. I really liked flower names like Violet or Rose or Lily or even Camelia, etc. All of these names have really come back into fashion but they seemed a little more common than I wanted. I finally did a google search for "old lady flower names" and somehow came across a list of names that had Aven in it. It immediately struck me because it sounded a lot like Aiden (which I liked for a boy) and Ava which I liked for a girl but was more common. Then I found an alternate spelling which had an Irish/Gaelic meaning of "fair radiance." To me this was a beautiful meaning. The next step was choosing a spelling. While we were tempted to go with a unique and probably more phonetic spelling of the Gaelic word, it seemed to lend to being often misspelled and mispronounced (Abe said he didn't worry about things like this but I had had this problem all my life so I was a little more concerned). Once we decided on the name, it took several weeks to decide on the spelling.

Last was the middle name. While in some ways I agree that a middle name is somewhat pointless and an age old tradition for who knows why....I still wanted my daughter to have a middle name. Abe has 2 middle names so he wanted to just go with a first and last name. I said that I was very open to choosing the middle name (since Aven was my pick for a first name) but that I did want her to have a middle name. It was kind of funny because one of the middle names I'd considered was Lily but I hadn't told Abe. One night he just started running through possible middle names and stopped on Lily. It seemed to go well with Aven and we both easily agreed.

I could go on and on about names. I love names, I love picking names and the sound and meaning of names. Since I was a little girl I made lists of the names I wanted to name my kids. Of course they changed over the years but I have always loved names. So, here we have our little flower girl: Aven Lily (8 months today).

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