When a couple with three daughters finds out they are expecting their first boy, do you think they will use a name they have had since their first daughter? Perhaps. Some would. Sure. Not us. Because we like to make things as challenging as possible, we had a different boy name for each baby.
In 1996, before we found out Kristyn was, well, Kristyn, we had chosen a boy name should she turn out to not be, well, Kristyn. That name was Nicholas John. Nicholas was after John's best friend at the time. John because it is tradition in John's family to give the first born son his father's name as a second name.
Here is where it gets a bit freaky. My Mother, at the age of 15, had put a baby up for adoption. Not only did we get married on his birthday, but when we found him in 2002, we found his adopted parents had named him Nicholas.
In 1998, massively pregnant with Erin, we decided that should the ultrasound be wrong, we should probably be prepared with a male name. We decided not to use Nicholas and I can't really tell you why. John and his friend Nick were no longer close, but that doesn't seem to be the reason I remember. Perhaps we had outgrown the name?
We were in bed and I said "You know what boy name is cute? Jack, but just Jack. Can we do that?"
John thought about it and said "No. Not really. Cause Jack John would sound bad. How about we call him John with another middle name and just call him Jack?"
I wasn't crazy about using John as his first name. I wanted to avoid the whole Jr or II thing. If I remember correctly we settled on Jackson John, and really hoped the ultrasound was right.
Which brings us to Meghan and the name we had for her should she come out with a penis, causing shock and awe in the room. 2001 is when I became obsessed with the name Andrew Alexander. We lived in Stittsville at the time, and during the Ottawa Amalgamation, a street had been renamed Andrew Alexander. I loved it. I was desperate for it. John didn't want to give us his name as middle name, and I didn't want to give up either name. We hit a wall in the argument, but I think the conclusion we came to was Andrew John - for which John was convinced we would shorten to AJ. I filed that one under "No freaking way.", but it was moot since once again, female parts prevailed!
Now, I don't know why Andrew didn't stick around once it was time to choos a name for our fourth, the first boy. If I think of it romantically, I say that it's because each child is a unique being and before you know who you're about to meet, their potential names should be solely theirs. Honestly though, I just love to think up names and clearly get bored of them pretty easily.
Unfortunately for Alex, how we chose his name is not very exciting. Though, I venture to say that boys don't care about this particular piece of their history, right? We were sitting on the couch together. John was rubbing my back because I had spent a good portion of the morning barfing. And I said "Okay, I'm beat down now. Allison for a girl, Alexander for a boy, but no AJ, okay?"
And he said "Okay."
That was that. It was that easy. I had never known an Alex in real life, and had some doubts he would emerge as a tiny Republican from an 80s TV show, so I had no expectations of the name. This left Alex free to define the name on his own. Now when I think of Alex, I see a rough and tumble boy who personifies everything little boys are known to be. He's also incredibly sweet and seriously, he adores his mother. All made sweeter by the fact that the "X" and the end really rolls nicely off your tongue when you're yelling it. With the added bonus that "Alexander!" can sound really disciplinarian when you're booming that one too.