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aidan b and w Yesterday, I passed along the big news that I have a new nephew, whined a bit about geographical distance, and praised modern technology for keeping us closer to those who are far away.

Today, I'm talking about names.

For the first day of his life, my nephew was nameless. We all knew that Sister N and her husband Brother-in-Law J2 (I have another brother-in-law J who was brave enough to enter the Donnelley scene first, so it's only fair that I knight him as BIL J1) had a short list of names. And once their little Chickie arrived, we all waited to hear them announce a winner.

Despite our my growing impatience, they waited a bit to name their guy. My sister said they wanted to wait until the hospital staff had bathed their boy, until he was all cleaned up, so she and her husband could get a good look at him. To see what he looked like. And what name fit.

And this made perfect sense to me. And none at all.

In my opinion, babies look like babies. In my opinion, babies come to fit the name they have been given. In my opinion, this naming bit is far more about us than it is about them and what they look like upon entering this big, bad world.

But enough about my opinion. What about yours? Do you think that certain names fit certain babies? Do you think that one baby looks like a Sally and another a Sienna? Do you think one baby looks like a Fred and another a Fitzgerald (Ooooh. Love that one. I call it!)?

Uh oh.

Here I am, thirty-one-years into my earthly existence wondering for the first time if I look like an Aidan? What do you think? In the above shot, I am cuddling my two girls. It is the week before Christmas. I like this picture because my smile is a real smile. I was trying to contain giggling girls on my lap. I also like this picture because it was my fifth wedding anniversary and the night of my family holiday party and I had my hair and makeup done that day. Which means that, for once, I did not look like this:

other me

Okay, I'm lying. I don't look like this the majority of the time. Just every morning. Usually, I end up somewhere between the coiffed smiley shot above and this here pre-coffee cuteness.

In making the determination of whether I look like an Aidan, would it be useful to see a baby picture?

like an aidan 1

Voila.

Does that help? Does this little princess with a paucity of hair and a fat lower lip look like an Aidan? Or should she have been named Allison?

[Looking at this picture makes me think of two things which are total tangents. Hence the hyphens. (1) Am I too old to be crawling? Should I feel insecure about this fact?; (2) My girls as babies look/looked a lot like I did as a baby, right down to the chubby cheeks and quasi-mullet. I love this.]

Do names fit the person or does the person come to fit the name? I don't pretend to know. What I do know is that I treasure my name.

I love being Aidan.

Yes, even though every professor thought I was a boy when reading from a list. Yes, even though it seems like 94% people think of Sex and the City when I introduce myself. Yes, even though this name has become an exceedingly popular choice for boys recently. Yes, even though I hear my name called several times every time I make a cameo at a playground or at a kiddie class and this has made my ego swell beyond measure.

Yes, even though.

My name means "little fire." I don't know what I looked like when I entered this world. I don't know what I acted like in my first days. I don't know who I was back then.

But I do know who I am today. I am Aidan. A happy soul who revels in periodic sadness. An overgrown tomboy who likes to get dolled up. An artificial confection who clings to authenticity. A chaos dweller who wishes for order. A perfectionista who celebrates flaws. A creature riddled with contradictions.

A little fire. Waiting to grow up.

Not that it matters - or maybe this is exactly what matters - but I think I look like an Aidan. I do.

_______________________________________

Do you think you fit your name? Does your name fit you? What do you think the relationship between name and named is? How has your name affected you (or not)? How did you name your own kids if you have them? Enough about you. Do I look like an Aidan?

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