My Son is Changing His Name

We are the parents of five children. We selected all of their names based on the meanings of those names or the love and respect we had for the namesake. Certainly, naming a child is a privilege for every parent. Sometimes parents seem to go a bit astray, naming their children with puns or numbers or some other name to make a statement. It is very interesting to observe how the popular names change over a period of years.

When our kids were born, popularity of the name was very low on my list of priorities. Greg and I cared more about the meaning.

Recently, I noticed my son had changed his Facebook name, so I asked him if it was just an online moniker, or if he was changing his name. He told me he is legally changing his first name, but keeping his middle and last names. His birth name was Joel. He is becoming Jude. I like the name Jude a lot. I think it fits him, and I’m willing to completely switch over to his new name.

Something has been bothering me about it though. I finally realized what it is. I would have liked for him to let me know ahead of time, rather than just doing so without any conversation. I wouldn’t have tried to talk him out of it. I just think it would have been a sign of respect to have discussed it ahead of time.

On the other hand, I was recently thinking of changing my own name, maybe just the spelling, maybe to go by my middle name, but changing it. I didn’t even consider talking to my mom about it. It just didn’t cross my mind. Perhaps if I had actually landed on a particular name or spelling I was going to go with, I would have told her before I did it, but I don’t know that that is the case. Therefore, I can see that it might not even have crossed Jude’s mind to tell us.

The strange thing is, I have been listing my five children’s names the same way for the past 9 years, and the older four for the past 16 years. Jude is 21, so it’s been a long time that I knew him as Joel. But I agree with Shakespeare, calling him Jude doesn’t change the nature of our relationship or the love we have for him or the desires we have for him to happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise!

I just hope I can keep myself from saying “Hey, Jude!” every time I write to him. The temptation just might be too great.

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