March 7 is Unique Names Day. And while that might seem silly to some people, to me, it’s a great day to celebrate. Here’s why…
When I was pregnant with my oldest son, there was absolutely no question as to what his name would be. I knew since middle school what I would name my son if I ever had a baby boy; Giovanni. It’s a strong Italian name I have always loved and since no one else in my
large huge Italian family had it, it was perfect for my little man.
When my husband and I began telling people what Giovanni’s name was, we always received positive reactions. Not one single negative comment. People even loved our choice for his middle name; Declan. (There is no mistaking my child’s Italian/Irish heritage!)
But when it came time for our second son to be born and we began sharing his name with others, the reactions were not quite the same. We got a lot of strange looks. People tried to be polite, but we heard comments such as, “Oh. That’s nice”(with a look on their face that read “what the heck kind of a name is that?”), “That’s different,” “Where’d you get that from?” My personal favorite (please sense my sarcasm here) was “Well, I guess I’ll get used to it.”
You see, my youngest child has a unique first name. One you don’t hear very often. And, while he has a distinctly Irish middle name (Jamison), his first name is not one that reflects our family backgrounds at all. In fact, it’s a completely made up name. It’s a combination of two other names put together. And, if I’m being totally honest here, we got it off a television show. Yep. That’s right. A TV Show. And I’m proud of it!
So what is my son’s very unique name? It’s Raylan (A combination of the names Ray and Harlan). Anyone figure out what TV show we got his name from yet? I”ll give you a minute … Bueller? Bueller? Hmmm … maybe I should just tell you. It’s from the FX show Justified, which is based off of the book Fire In The Hole by Elmore Leonard. It’s about a U.S. Marshall named Raylan Givens who lives in Kentucky. So, yeah, a complete deviation from the Italian name we gave our oldest son.
My little Raylan will be one of those kids who can’t ever find his name on a keychain. He will constantly be asked how to spell his name. And, if asked what his name means, he’ll have to tell people there isn’t a meaning behind his name because it’s a made up name. And in those moments he will probably think, “Why the heck did my parents give me this name.” Poor kid, right?
Not “Poor kid.”
You know why? Because his name is as unique and special as he is. Yes, we may have taken it from a television show, BUT that doesn’t matter. It’s a name that fits his silly crazy little personality. And it’s a name he gets to call all his own.
So we don’t cower when people ask us where we got his name or feel embarrassed by the fact that it came from U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens. We proudly shout it out and celebrate it.