What’s in a Name?

When I was pregnant, my daughter’s name simply came to me; like magic. Driving along, no radio, alone, windows up, complete silence… then I heard it: “Vivia” and I instantly questioned, “Vivian?” And I heard it again, “ViviA” – ohhhhhhh, no N. Ok. Got it.

In that fleeting moment, I knew Vivia was my daughter’s name. And just a few seconds later I knew her middle name. She would be named after my paternal grandmother; the most important woman to ever exist in my universe.

Long before I was ever pregnant, I remember the weight of the world resting on my shoulders as I considered the immense task of selecting a name for my future child(ren). How does one come up with such a thing? Such a life-long important thing; a thing that is the primary identifier of a person: his/her name. I truly never thought I could/would ever select the perfect name. Ugh. So much pressure!!

As I inched closer to my fertility goal, a friend of mine told me she had completely different names picked out for her three children. Then while pregnant with each of her precious bundles of joy… she heard their names. And the name she heard was NOT the name she had previously selected.

She reassured me, “Don’t worry… I believe our children pick out their own name while we are pregnant. They whisper it in our ear, deliver it to us in a song, or their spirit urges someone we know to suggest their name.”

Wow! That was it. My daughter whispered her name in my ear that day. No longer did I question if I had selected the perfect name for her. And the more I thought about her name… the more I realized just how incredibly perfect V-I-V-I-A was for her. When I made my public pregnancy announcement on Facebook at 16 weeks (I waited super long because I was high risk), I posted ultrasound pictures along with her full name.

Not long after the post, a dear friend questioned “why would you put her name out there? You still have so much time before she arrives… you might change your mind!!” Nope. I was steadfast in my decision that Vivia was indeed her name. The only thing I’ve ever been more sure of in my life… before this… was the fact that I was going to have a daughter. Then my 20 week ultrasound confirmed what I already knew. #Girl

Growing up, my entire family called me Nae-Nae. Then as I aged the childish nickname grew up with me and morphed into Nae; the last three letters of my name. I loved that I could call my daughter Via; the last three letters of her name. It felt like a special bond between us.

Furthermore, I fell in love with the similarities between our two names…. the fact that my first name is five letters. Vivia is also five letters. We both have the same number of consonants and vowels in our names. And surprisingly these letters are located in the exact same locations within our names too. Renae. Vivia. Two peas in a pod.

As I told everyone my plan to call her Via… many question me because it seemed odd to them for me to use a preposition as a nickname. One person even mocked me, “Oh. Ok. Sooooo, I’m going to go to Cincinnati via 71/75. Ha! Ha!” Thank goodness I’ve never really cared much for the approval of others.

After my daughter was born, several friends and family members asked if they could call her Vivi. It was easier for them to say or they were more accustomed to “ie or y” sounding names as terms of endearment. “Sure, go ahead” was my response. I even call her Vivi from time to time.

On Valentine’s Day, after I picked up my daughter from school, we went through her box of goodies… I saw a valentine addressed to “Bivia” and I let out a giggle. Nearly all of her preschool classmates call her Bivia (or Biv or Bivi) because V is just a tough letter to master at this age (pre-school). Heck, even my own daughter calls herself “Bihffia” and I know one day I’m going to SO MISS hearing her say her name this way.

Later this same night, I watched the movie “Wonder” – wow! What an amazing feature film… on so many levels. The main character (Auggie) has an older sister (Olivia). Then I saw it: “VIA” in big, bold, capital letters across the screen as the camera zoomed in on Via’s bedroom door. All throughout the movie Olivia is only referred to as Via. My heart swelled with pride to see my daughter’s unique name in mainstream media. Maybe… just maybe… I’m not so weird after all. Prepositions are where it’s at now. Ha!

 © Renae Rossman and Candy Coated Reality™

One thought on “What’s in a Name?

  1. I love this! Names are so important. I’ve even changed my name as an adult to have the creative, powerful privilege of naming myself. Usually now I go by the name my parents gave me instead, out of respect for their feelings. But names are such a powerful thing and can provide such a creative outlet. It took me 9 months to name my daughter though! I wanted Ballerina. He wanted Aurora. Then one night I came across Angelica and we were sold.



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