For a girl who has been brainstorming baby names for as long as I can remember, I was surprisingly indecisive when the time came. For starters, I really wanted to see my baby before I made a final decision. Even though I was 99.9999999999 % sure he would be a baby James, he remained just plain ‘ole baby Croft when he was in my womb. Yup, that meant no embroidered blankets or monogrammed onesies as baby shower gifts. Some of my friends gave me a hard time but in the end I was really happy with our naming process.
Marcus and I both happened to love the name James. Not only does it have perfect family ties (Marcus’ middle name is James and James is my father-in-law’s first name) but it is strong and solid, manly and classic! (And it is not as common as John or Michael) One of my rules was to avoid any trendy names or any names on the top twenty list. That meant no Ava’s or Noah’s, no Olivia’s or Liam’s, no Ethan’s or Nora’s…and not because I don’t like a lot of those names. I actually love so many of the popular names, but I grew up as the only Laura at my school and I really liked that. Finally, James is named for St. James, Jesus’ apostle- In the Bible James is recorded to be one of the first disciples to leave everything behind and follow Jesus. He witnessed the Transfiguration and is also a Martyr. I pray that James will always follow Jesus first, too. Naming your babies after saints is such a beautiful and important tradition to me- love that my little man has such a holy example to follow.
We really struggled with the middle name. James is often used as a middle name and we had a hard time finding something that fit with it as a first name. We wanted it to be two syllables since his first and last are just one. We have Nanny to thank for his middle name, really. When we were visiting her this past fall and talking about baby names, she told me that she knew many great men with the initials JP. Hmm P, I thought, what names start with P? Patrick was the first, perfect name that came to my mind. Another great saint AND the name of my beloved little brother! There we had it..James Patrick. We told a few people that the name was definitely our top pick, but we still wanted to wait and see the baby. I had a small list of emergency names just in case he didn’t look like a James Patrick.
The moment my son was laid on my chest Marcus tells me I immediately said “Hi, James” over and over again.
To us, he is just James, not a Jim or a Jimmy. We have some playful nicknames, but I am not sure if any of them have staying power yet. We lovingly refer to him as little JP or Jamie Boy from time to time. We’ve also been known to call him Pookie (a la Sandra Boyton- since his newborn grunting and button nose reminded me of a little pig).
Even though I am still in the postpartum “I’m never doing that again!!” stage, it has not stopped me from day dreaming about names for James’ future siblings. I’ll follow my criteria (waiting to name, nothing from the top 20) but I’ll have to make sure the name fits with James’, too. Siblings names need to go together well!
I’m pretty fascinated with names and how people chose them. So if you are reading this, how did you choose your baby’s name?! Need to know! Or you can just tell me your favorite names… I promise not to steal!