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!