Nice To Meet You!

by Jen on October 21, 2012

One of the infinite responsibilities that comes with being a parent is providing your human with a name.

What. Pressure.

Like it or not, names come with prejudices.  I have met very few wimps named Hulk and very few airheads named Einstein.  Some names conjure bitchy images or lazy images or images of the smelly kid from second grade. It is highly unlikely your child will have an awesomely unique name without having an awesomely butchered spelling or an awesomely misunderstood pronunciation.

I’m a Jennifer.  Depending on the poll, my name ranked first or second most popular in 1980- which, was the year I was born.  Hearing “Jennifer!” shouted in a crowd rarely made me turn around, as the likelihood of someone calling for me was slim.  I didn’t stand out.  I was often referred to as “Jennifer E.” as a way to keep all of the Jennifers differentiated.  But on the flipside, my name was never “weird”.  Jennifer wasn’t turned into sing-songy phrases that my peers used to taunt me.  I was always able to find pencils and name plates and lunch boxes adorned with my name.  And, my name also provides nickname freedoms that have proven fun over the years.

For me, finding a name for a son proved much more difficult than for a daughter.  George and I had a favorite in mind from the start, but watched the popularity name lists like hawks as our name began to climb the charts.  Wanting something a little less popular, we created lists upon lists of possible contenders that we liked, but never loved.  Someone we loved had either already chosen names we liked for their own children, or we feared our son might endure years of bullying for our attempts to be creative.

It’s like wedding dress shopping, I think.  (I have heard this from my friends a thousand time, but this did not prove to be the case for me since wedding dress shopping was one of my least favorite times of life.) But no matter how many dresses you try on, your heart is always set on that very first one.  And even though we both tried to talk ourselves into something else, our baby’s name seemed decided before we even realized it.

His name, Bodhi’s name, is now Henry Elliott Bruno.

And I feel awesome about that.  I love every syllable, and every image that comes to mind when I say it aloud.

Henry is my George’s middle name, shared by his grandfather who is one of the greatest people on this planet.  I share a bond with his grandmother when she speaks of the man she married, because I know, the man she married and who provided her with a life made of dreams, is the same man who built the things that make my husband great.  If I want to picture my life in 50 years, I can look to them and smile about the decisions I’ve made.

Elliott is my maiden name turned middle name.  This was a strong contender for our son’s first name, but in the end, fit better in the middle.  Elliott makes me think of my family and my childhood and the people who helped build my life.  I believe it’s a strong, honest, hard working name, and our son will be completely worthy.

So that’s that.  He is named.  Check, check, and check!

Bodhi will never go away.  It’s not in my nature.  I’m a nicknamer- usually favoring “B” names.  I’ve had a Becky and a Bug and a Bear and a Buffy and a Bunkin and a Brito and a Bennay, and a Beezus, and a Bruce and a Bink and a Bodhi.  And probably more.  So although Henry lives, Bodhi never dies.  In truth, the kid may never hear me call him Henry.  ‘Tis possible.

We are 17 weeks pregnant today!  I feel better and less “pregnant” every day.  The baby’s flutters and nudges are getting a little more frequent and a little stronger.  Every time I feel him, I can’t help but smile and wonder what he’s up to in there.  The mystery and miracle of growing people is fascinating beyond measure.

The baby is roughly 5 1/4 inches long, still loves milk in the mornings and long walks… to the subway.  Last week we received quite a few baby gifts which have made our apartment the most fun place to be!  Our friends are INCREDIBLE!  I wore my first pair of maternity jeans yesterday and have decided that jeans without elastic in the waist should be outlawed.

Thank you again for following our story, which is now Henry’s.  And will forever be my favorite story to tell.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 euregirlsandboys October 21, 2012 at 9:19 am

I love the name – and hearing the story behind it. I love using family names – all of our kids have some family piece to their names. Yay for 17 weeks and feeling better!


2 Alison October 21, 2012 at 10:02 am

I love the name. It's perfect. Absolutely perfect.
His middle name? A form of Elijah? My second boy's name is also a form of Elijah, in Arabic.
So they basically have the same name.
Well, sort of. 🙂


3 Nadine October 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

Love that name, so strong and not common. Someday a teacher will be pleased when she or he calls your sons name and will not have to guess whether it is a male or female. We chose our sons name on the way to the hospital when the Marshall Tucker Band was playing on the 8 track cassette player. Lol Marshall Brandon (after a actor on All My Children) now at 6'10 his name fits him perfect. Our daughter, I had a list of names, left it at home and named her Lauren (I wanted Leia or Laurel) after the perfume my mom brought me (Ralph Lauren). Only to find out 4 other little girls in the nursery had the same name! All the best to you all, love following his little growing life. 🙂


4 Lynne October 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

How beautiful….. Henry Elliott Bruno you have been loved since the day you came to be.


5 Jessica October 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Henry Elliott Bruno is a fabulous name!!!! I happen to have a Henry in my life who is sweet, fun, adventurous, and loves people. He also happens to have four legs and fluffy white hair. If your Henry brings you half the love and smiles my Henry has brought me, you and George will be blessed indeed. And I've no doubt this will be the case.

Best wishes Jennifer. Couldn't be happier for you!!


6 Runnermom-jen October 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm

LOVE his name. Henry is a good, strong name.


7 Andrea October 22, 2012 at 9:13 am

I love this – but I will not call him so until he is here. 😉

I'm with you on the "will I ever call my kid their name" mindset. You will. You'll be surprised at how often! But a nickname is for certain, even if it's not the one that you think you'll use.


8 Jane October 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

That is a perfect name! I love it. Congrats on naming your baby. I felt the same way about my son's name – I'd always had it in my head, so when we found out he was a he, we came up with a list of names, but none were as awesome as THE ONE. So happy you've made it to 17 weeks and you can feel him having a party in there. There's nothing more amazing than feeling your baby move inside if you. Keep up the good work!


9 Nicole MTDLBlog October 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Congratulations! And Henry is such a fantastic name. Adorable for a little boy but strong for when he grows up.

I emailed you from my work email to see if you are interested in blogging for Everyday Family and sharing your story with a wider audience – sometimes they go to spam…I hope you'll check it out and email me back!


10 Rach DonutsMama October 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Love the name, Jen! We had a really hard time with names too, but, like you said, we kept going back to the first name. In fact, D's name was a name I'd loved since before I'd even met my hubs. And I like that it's different, but not way out there, like my name. A balance is good.

Can't wait to see little Henry!


11 Tammy Bartelson October 23, 2012 at 12:56 am

I'm just now reading this! Love the story behind the name. You know, there is a DARLING little boy on a weekly show right now, and his charector's name is "Henry." And I've always loved the name Elliott! For a first, middle or LAST name! Lol The first Elliott I loved was the cute little boy in the movie "Pete's Dragon." Remember that? Chad LOVED that movie! As a matter of fact, I bought him that movie for Christmas about 2-3 year ago…when he was 35 years old!! He was so thrilled! Congrats on picking just the right name!


12 chosenchaosblog October 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Henry is a FAVORITE name of mine. And to have such a great story backing it up makes it all the better.


13 visit September 30, 2013 at 7:38 am

Naming the person is the most difficult task and most important task in a person life. Each name has meanings and they correspond or symbolizes something. It is often said that the name of the person which symbolizes something will also reflect in the character of the person.


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