The Name Game

When L was born we had a list of names that we liked, but nothing was decided at that time.  We wanted to wait until we met our little man before placing the burden of a moniker that we would call him by for the rest of his life.  It made the first few days with a newborn more stressful than it would have been otherwise, but by Day 3 we had a name for our little guy.  I wanted to give him a unique and classy name; we wanted him to be the only L in his class.  We also wanted a name that was common enough that he would not have the issues with spelling and pronunciation of his name that many of the more . . . unique . . . names get.  Now, his name is in the top 10 names for boys, much to my dismay.  I can at least say that I named him before it was a popular name; and I will say that to anyone who mentions that stupid top ten list to me.  I will mention it loudly and with much ire.

In sharp contrast are the prevalence of -den names currently making the rounds.  Why would someone choose a name that is already known to be very popular?  Does it help a kid to fit in?  I am just so American that I feel the need for my child to be unique and special in every way.  I have been conditioned to believe that unique is better.  Always.  This belief is so deep seated that I find it almost impossible to think otherwise.  I have a hard time finding something nice to say when yet another person tells me that they are naming their boy something-den.  As an example, in my mom's group there is a Brayden.  And I have a friend that is due this week and her boy will be named Brayden.  And the neighbor across the street is naming her boy Brayden.  To put this in perspective, I can count the number of kids I know on both my hands.  That is not a ton of kids to have 3 named Brayden (and there are a few other -dens in that double handful).

Why are these names so popular right now?  Why is it cool to have a unique name and why do you want a popular name?  All I can think is, God help me if I have to name another child!

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