A couple from Alabama was taken aback when popular news sites and ordinary folk expressed via Twitter that they actually give a hoot about the odd name they chose for their baby boy. Come on, guys, baby names are all the rage and you should know that your choice affects us all, especially when it's a name we aren't used to seeing.
Oh, I kid, I kid. And, honestly, I really like the name they gave their child ... ready for it? Krimson Tyde -- named after the University of Alabama's football team, the Crimson Tide. While I'm not the biggest sports fan in the world and would probably find it harder to swallow if they named their child "Sooners," football aside -- the name is melodic and interesting. I dig it. But my opinion on their name is totally irrelevant. What is important for these parents -- and all parents -- to remember is that we should expect to take a little bit of flak if we give our baby an unusual name. And that's okay.
Most of us are naturally curious about one another's decisions when it comes to our children. I know when I encounter a baby with an unusual name, whether I love or hate it, I feel just a tiny bit jealous. His or her parents had the courage to defy societal norms and bless their child with a name that a million other kids in her school won't have (can you tell I would have preferred to have a name that wasn't one of the most popular in the late '70s?).
If parents choose to give their kids unique names, they need to be prepared because both they and their children might face more than a few rude questions and taunts as a result. I believe the good outweighs the bad in this case. These children may have to defend themselves early on, but there's nothing wrong with a child learning how to stick up for himself and show the world he is proud of his name.
And the truth is, even if you choose to give your baby a name that isn't Krimson or Blue Ivy, you're going to have to deal with others' annoying opinions. Here are some of the "normal-ish" names I wondered aloud about while pregnant and how people I know actually responded:
Sky - why not name her "Dirt"? What's the difference?
Grace - with your last name, it's going to sound like you gave birth to a nun.
Olive - no one wants to be named after a food, especially a food most people find vile.
Ilsa - you live in America, remember?
Kiera (my daughter's name) - it's supposed to be spelled "Keira." No one is going to know how to pronounce it.
You can't win them all. Just name your baby a name that feels special to you and that you sincerely hope will be special for him or her one day. Then deal with the comments because they aren't going to disappear.
Do you think parents who give their children unusual names should expect criticism from others?