I Don’t Like My Grandchild’s Name

Dear Alex,

I think I over stepped my boundaries with my son and daughter-in-law and I am not sure what to do.grandmother3

My daughter-in-law is pregnant and we are all so excited. I made an amazing feast and invited them over for dinner the other night. I had to go to three different markets to prepare this meal, but that’s beside the point. As we were enjoying this fabulous meal, they shared with us what they plan on naming the baby. I tell you, I nearly choked on my food!  My daughter-in-law seemed so excited about the name, but… well….. I don’t like it. Actually, I really dislike it. To tell you the truth, I hate it and I don’t want my grandchild to have that name! So I told her. I told her it was a dreadful name, and she would be making a horrendous mistake if she chose that name. She kind of seemed upset at me, but I’m not sure.   Maybe it was just her hormones, but she sort of had tears in her eyes. But I couldn’t help myself. I just could not imagine living with that name. Please tell me I was not wrong in speaking my opinion.


The Grandma of the unnamed child



Dear Grandma,

The mere fact that you are writing to me indicates that you recognize some hint of inappropriateness on your behalf. I understand that you dislike the name, but it really is not your place to decide what your grandchild should be named.

Your very pregnant and very hormonal daughter-in-law came to you with excitement about the name she and her husband had chosen for their child. She was trying to share that joy and delight with you. And rather than be excited for them and with them, you popped their bubble of ecstasy! I am not surprised she had tears in her eyes; in fact I would have expected her to go on a rampage about how unkind and hurtful you were.

Choosing a child’s name is not an easy task. Just getting mom and dad to agree is hard enough. Suddenly, you think you should be consulted as well? Did they consult you about conceiving the baby too?

Some religions believe the mother alone has the honor of choosing a child’s name. After nine months of carrying a child to term, it is her privilege to name the child. It is believed that the angels will come down to her and breath into her the name of that child and that the child will go on to bring life and beauty to that name. Often times, when parents choose their child’s name, it does not take long before the child begins to embody the characteristics of that name. And when they look at their child, they come to realize that the name suits them quite well.

But, in this case you decided to jump in and change the course of this child’s destiny. They likely spent months coming up with their final decision. They may have even chosen this name before the child was even conceived. What if they had not told you what your grandchild’s name would be until the day he was born? Would you boldly announce in the waiting room of the hospital that it was a bad name? Would you tell anyone who would listen how much you disliked it? More likely, you would bite your tongue and get over it.

The truth is, you owe your daughter-in-law an apology. I know, I know, you HATE the name and you can’t imagine your grandchild having this name. But you had a chance to name your children, and now it is their turn. If you ever want them to share their happiness with you again, you had better make a phone call, and maybe even send flowers. Ok, fine. I know it would probably kill you to send the flowers, so just say you are sorry. And open your heart to that grandchild, regardless of his name. And next time, let your MomAbility guide you before you open your mouth.

Alex Signature



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