Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What's In a Name?

Bennett had the honor of hosting his Grampa John this past weekend. They had a very nice time visiting and getting to know one another. My dad learned that Bennett has a good set of lungs. Bennett learned that his Grampa is going to give him a nickname whether we like it or not.

My sister is cursed with a variety of nicknames from my dad, perhaps the most embarrassing being Rumpkin. I have no idea where he came up with that one, but unfortunately, it has stuck. Maybe because I was always the more serious kid, mine was a little less offensive, The Allison-meier. Don't ask...
My dad was referring to poor little unsuspecting Bennett as...Benny. I unknowingly promoted the nickname by telling my dad how much I hated it. Then, over the weekend it evolved into several other manifestations, Benito, as in Mussolini, and is currently Bennihana. Ahh! If I had known that naming my child Bennett would someday get distorted into Bennihana I'd have given him a name along the lines of Chris or Matt. However, knowing my dad he'd call him Christopherson or Bathmat.

Rocky and I are one of those ridiculous couples that discussed baby names very early in our relationship. I had made it very clear that I would not be supporting an RWK, IV. Thankfully, his parents had no objection. However, both Rocky and I have a lot of family names that have been passed down over generations and I felt both a desire and a need to honor the men in our families. Growing up with a more distinct maiden name than King, I never considered how difficult it might be to find a name that wouldn't lead to him being one of one hundred John Kings or Bathmat Kings.

Bennett had been on our list for years. It wasn't on the Social Security list's top 100 names (or even the top 300 names). We liked the meaning, "Blessed." There may be another Bennett in his class someday, but there most likely will not be another Bennett King.
The name moved up the list as I drove past Bennett Drive on the way to the doctor's office in the early months of my pregnancy. As I've eluded to previously, I was one paranoid and scared pregnant lady. Seeing it each time I went in for an exam or a blood draw made me confident that things were going to work out. It was both literally and figuratively a sign to me that I would have a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby. Perhaps it is a little silly, but it meant a lot to me at the time.
We had other names on our list too, Aaron, John, Isaac, and about a dozen others. I really didn't want to commit to anything until I met the kid, but Rocky was sold and wasn't even considering the other names I'd tossed around over the last six months. When the doctor's placed him on my chest, Rocky asked me if I'd like to tell my mom his name. Whatever I spit out, he knew he'd be happy with. The other front runner really didn't fit the smushy red-faced and hairy baby I held in my arms. Bennett it was. NOT Bennihana.

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