What’s in a name?


‘The story of a girl (almost) named Zeus’

Our Memorial Day tradition is to have our two super-adorable grand-nieces (yup, grand-nieces), Miss Just-Two and her older sister Miss Almost-Five, come down from the Boston area to help us celebrate the first official weekend of summer. Oh, okay. Their parents get to come too.

Last night we were polishing off our umpteenth bottle of wine (with the parents, not the adorable grand-nieces) and got to talking about how kids get their names. I guess things have changed a bit since we named The Child, because these parents confessed that Miss Almost-Five went four days without a name. Even more startling (to us, anyway) was the fact that Miss Just-Two went nameless for four whole months. During this time, she was known to all and sundry as Baby Girl. Or, for officialdom, as Baby Girl Last Name.

The Dad (The Dude’s older brother’s son) said he finally had to give in and name Baby Girl because, without a name, she could not get a social security number, and without a SSN, she sort of, well, didn’t exist. So, name her, they did. At least they didn’t let her name herself, which was Picabo Street’s parents’ genius idea. (Poor Picabo didn’t have a name till she was three years old.) Continue reading

‘Now let’s play Supreme Court Justice’


‘The job that’s way better than being President.’

When The Child was really a child, well-meaning adults liked to ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Having stumbled over this very question when we were small (‘teacher’? ‘rocket scientist’? ‘cowboy’? What did this grownup want to hear? And how on earth could we be expected to make a career decision when we were only four?), The Dude and I decided to provide her with a good answer she could spit out without hesitation when required to do so.

True, a little (or perhaps more than a little) brainwashing came into play, but we like to think it was of the benign kind. Besides, we got a kick out of watching her grownup griller’s response when she’d squeak out ‘Supreme Court Justice’ in her baby-duck voice. Her questioner would be highly amused. ‘Don’t you want to be President?‘, he or she would counter. ‘Nope. Supreme Court Justice is a better job.’ Continue reading