What’s in a Name?

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You know what I think is funny? The way people react when I tell them my daughter’s name. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that her name might be slightly unconventional, but in a world full of North West’s and Spurgeon’s, I really didn’t think Hadley Sutton was that strange.

And yet somehow, whenever people hear her unique moniker for the first time they tend to look at us like we have three heads. We get questions like:

  • How did you come up with a name like that?
  • That’s kind of different isn’t it?

And my favorite…

  • So that must be a family name, right?

Because apparently, my husband and I would only choose a name so ridiculous because we have some sort of familial attachment to it. And of course, there’s always the people who simply respond, “Huh?” I guess they think it’s so weird we must have been mistaken when we spoke it. Now I’m not saying that the people who ask these questions are trying to be outright rude or hurtful, but we need to consider how statements and questions like these might come across.

Choosing a name is not an easy task. I reached a point in my pregnancy where I legitimately thought we’d just wait until she turned 18 and let her choose for herself. She could have just been kid or girl until then! What a daunting undertaking it is to determine what a person will be called for the rest of their life. The name on their report cards, driver’s license, and job applications. A person’s name is often the very first thing that we learn about them…the very first impression we have. As parents, we want to make it a good one.

Hadley’s name is inspired from a few different sources. When Ryan and I first started watching the show Parenthood, we fell in love with the name Haddie…somehow though it sounded too much like a nickname to make it official, though. When I read a book about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson, I fell in love. After mentioning the name to Ryan, we thought on it for awhile before finally deciding it was perfect. After seeing Sutton a few different places, we both felt like it was such a uniquely, beautiful name.

When I hear the name Hadley Sutton, I think of elegance. It feels like such a strong, feminine name that will stand the test of time. To our ears, our daughter’s name is something beautiful.

While we might not always agree with the names that people choose, goodness knows I’ve heard some doozies, we should try to remember that a mom and dad worked hard to choose that name. A lot of painstaking thought and emotion went into the decision and who are we to pass judgment? And if we feel like we there’s no way around being slightly judgmental…maybe let’s not do it to their faces?

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

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