Saturday, September 1, 2012

A rose is a rose is a rose...

Names facinate me. They always have. For my 15th birthday I had a cake decorated with nothing but names.

I originally named my children when I was seven. They were Ginger, Adam, Crystal, and Jason. Of those names, the only one that I might still ever use is Ginger, and that would most likely be for a dog.

When I was about 13, I named my children again (and this time I made them all girls). They were Bradleigh Elizabeth, Anastasia Rebecca, Jessica Kate, and Tyme Aryn. And I really, truly intended to use these names. Right up until I turned about 20 and decided that I wanted my kids to have old names, names that had a lot of meaning to me.

Betsy's full name is Elizabeth Anne Watson Johnson. The Elizabeth comes from my grandma, who was Margaret Elizabeth. I, in turn, am Joy Elizabeth. And since my grandma meant more to me than just about anyone on earth, Betsy is Elizabeth in her honor. And then, she's Betsy because I just love the name Betsy. It is such a cute name. We are currently reading the Betsy-Tacy series and that is Betsy. Her name suits her to a tee. Anne is for Anne Shirley, otherwise known as Anne of Green Gables. Anne is my favorite literary character of all time. She is my best friend, really. And then Watson is my maiden name. It was hugely important to me that I get that in there. I hadn't anticipated that until I was pregnant. But I didn't want to hyphenate it because I always hated being at the end of the alphabet. Truly, I was thrilled when I met Nick that my kids would be in the middle of the alphabet. So, it's there but it's just a second middle name. What she does with all these names when and if she marries is her problem to deal with.

Felicity is Felicity Kate Watson Johnson. Felicity is from a different book by L.M. Montgomery called The Story Girl. And she figured heavily into the show Road to Avonlea. Kate is from my great-grandmother, who was my Grandma West's mother. Her name was Jessie Kate but she went by Kate. Ergo that Jessica Kate up there in that other list. It was close, I could have gone with Jessica. But I knew that people of a certain age would think of Sweet Valley High if I named them Elizabeth and Jessica. And I love the name Felicity. And then of course, she is stuck with the Watson too.

If I had a boy, he would have been Benjamin David Robert Johnson. The Benjamin because I like it (and I think that the 'j' in the middle goes well with Johnson). And David and Robert for my dad and my father-in-law. But that wasn't to be.

And lastly there are the dogs. Gidget and Moondoggie. It is shocking to me how many people just think that we gave Moondoggie a weird name. Moondoggie is Gidget's boyfriend, both in the movies and on the TV show. Their middle names are Catherine and Heathcliff, my original choices for their names, which Nicholas vetoed.