Saturday, May 20, 2006

Competitive Childbearing, Again

So, I have found out that my sister is planning to name her child for the same relative that we are planning to name for. (This is somewhat dependent on the gender of Co's and my children, whether we end up really doing it.)

It is okay, in Jewish families, for more than one child to be named for an ancestor. It happens.

In this case, my sister wasn't sure if she even wanted to name for this relative (you know, if someone had a lot of faults, do you want to name for them? stuff like that). Last we spoke about naming for relatives, she said she wouldn't do it.

Co and I innocently expressed our opinion that it is okay to name for this relative, and why we feel that way.

And now, apparently she has changed her mind.

I know I can do it too. But she will have done it first. This was something I wanted to do for my Daddy. But now I can't, and it's my own fault for being honest and telling her our thoughts.

Is my rage/desire to curl up in a ball and disappear completely unreasonable??

I really don't know.


marci said...

Geez, Lo. Your family sounds like a real piece of work. I too have come from a pretty dysfunctional family. Well, at least with my mother. She's a complete crazy bitch. It took me years to rid myself of her influence.

So, ignore their petty little games and manipulations. You're stronger and better than that. Name your kids whatever you want! :)

Tamsin said...

Oh, that must hurt :o(
Sharing names is so fraught with dangers, and I'm so sorry that your sister has changed her mind and may be "stealing" this name that you wanted to use. I hope that she changes track again.

Co said...

Honey, you said I could respond honestly to your post. So I am.

I don't think it's unreasonable for you to be annoyed. It was our idea first. And we did tell her our intentions to name after your uncle. We also are the ones who explained to her why we thought it was okay to honor a relative by naming a child after him, even though he was mentally ill. We explained why we thought it didn't stigmatize the child to do so, any more than it stigmatizes a child to name after a relative who died of cancer.

However, your sister isn't stealing our name. She is having a boy. We had planned to name a daughter after your uncle, not a son. And we CAN still name for your uncle. If we name for him, we are doing it to honor a man who dearly loved his little niece Lo, and whom you remember loving and missing after he had passed on. We are doing it for your uncle, to honor him, because he was important in YOUR life. We are not doing it to compete with your sister. So let her do what she wants. It doesn't affect us.

Whimsy said...

It seems like the name isn't the point, though. It's the chance to give your dad an honor, a way to connect with him in a way that is special.

If it's done already, how special is it? Or just a "yeah me too" thing...

I think it really sucks, and it would be nice to find a way to create that same connection in a new way.

It's true that you connected with your uncle in a way that she never did but that's not something you can do anything about now. It was thoughtless and crappy and I totally see where the rage would come in.

S named E after an aunt that she had that kind of connection with who passed away. I didn't feel threatened, bc I never did have that connection.

I felt something special about the name William, so I "called" it. S has respected that over almost ten years of parenting despite MAJOR trouble coming up with boy names!

It's a big deal! I get it. I just don't know what to tell you to do NOW.