Dear Natalie: Week 50

Dear Natalie,

Have we ever talked about why your name is Natalie? Or about other names we considered for you?

Funny story, really. We liked the name “Natalie.”

The end.

Ok, you’re right…that’s a terrible story, but it’s the truth. There’s no special reason for your first name; it has no family significance. We just really liked it .

(Your middle name is a family name, at least. Your great-grandmother Hall’s name is Elizabeth, as is my aunt’s. You also have at least one cousin with that as a middle name. And probably a few other people that I’m forgetting right now.)

There were other contenders. We really liked “Olivia” and “Abigail,” but those names are fairly popular right now (at least, according to the Social Security lists), and we didn’t want you to be one of five in your class.

If you were a boy, your name would have been William Alexander. No question. We didn’t really discuss any other names for a boy, and I don’t think we will for the future, either. If you ever have a brother, I’m 99% sure that’s what his name will be.

When I was pregnant I spent so much time browsing baby name websites and visiting message boards where women would ask for strangers’ opinions about names like “Navayah Destanee MaKynzy” and then become irrationally offended when someone pointed out that it might be difficult to learn to spell such a name. Entertaining, yes, but not so helpful in deciding on your name. 

Your dad and I went back and forth, around and around, again and again. We never had any serious disagreements about baby names; if one of us really disliked a name, it was off the list and that’s all there was to it. We also didn’t have any disagreements with anyone else about your name, because we didn’t reveal our choice until after you were born.

This was for two reasons: 1) It gave us an out if we decided at the birth center that we had it all wrong and there’s no WAY you were a “Natalie,” and 2) someone, somewhere, would have said, “I knew a Natalie in elementary school and she stole my lunch money and punched me in the face. How could you even consider using the name of that kind of monster?!?!?”

Uh-huh. Sorry, but we just didn’t care. Our choice was our choice, and if you have kids in the future, I highly recommend not muddying up the already-murky waters of naming a baby with the opinions of people who, honestly, don’t matter. And I place everyone in the world except me and your dad in that category.

(Only in regards to baby names, of course. I value the opinions of many, many people on many, many other subjects. Just not that one.)

So there you have it. The highly anticlimactic story of your name. Now that we’ve been living with you and your name for the better part of a year, I have no regrets. You are Natalie, through and through, and I can’t even imagine calling you anything else.

Love always,


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