Anyway, whilst signing his name under duress for the seventh time, the young one turned and saith unto me:
"Mummy, did my Tummy Mummy choose my name?"
"Yes Little Bear, Tummy Mummy gave you all three of your names and Mummy and Daddy gave you our last name when you came into our family."
He nodded solemnly then turned and saith unto me:
"Can I have another sweet?"
This little interlude is just one of a few recent chats about his adoption which we have shared with Little Bear. All the conversations were short and sweet and all instigated by a question from Little Bear himself. It feels the natural and organic way to talk about his history with him.
It also lead me on to pondering the question I have used for my title, what's in a name?
These days there are all sorts of names floating around. Traditional names, traditional names with strange spellings, relatively modern derivatives of traditional names, and these also come with strange spellings, surnames now used as Christian names, and of course because of the vibrant mix of culture and ethnicity in this country we also have names which are familiar and traditional in some countries which are becoming familiar and traditional in the United Kingdom. I myself have a first name which reflects my parent's cultural heritage despite being myself born in England.
I am glad that I didn't have the task of naming my son, the name his birth mother choose fits him beautifully. I also think it is such a responsibility, giving a person the first outward strand of their identity. I know of two adults who in their thirties have changed their first names by deed poll for their own reasons, neither had outlandish given names but are comfortable with the change.
Are you happy with your name? In this picture I look as if I am!