The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A tale of two Lillys

Julia's Sweet Streets Schoolhouse, a birthday gift this past year, came with 6 little dolls. Their names, as decreed by Julia a week or two after she got the set, are Miss Cindy (the teacher), Jonathan, Jon, Carrina, Lilly and Lilly. Yes, two Lillys. And both a Jonathan and a Jon. Multiple kids with the same name, you see, are a fact of Julia's life.

I knew years before Julia was even conceived that if I ever had a girl, I wanted to name her after my grandparents, Julius and Fay. "Julia Fay," the nurse smiled at me the day after she was born. "What a beautiful name. I'm surprised that we don't hear it more often." I laughed. "I hope you don't start hearing it too often," I replied. I'd hate for her to have to be Julia T."

Fat chance.

Apparently, that nurse was either new on the job or she sent out some sort of immediate naming memo, because there are no shortage of Julias in this area. In fact, everywhere we go now, there are boatloads of Julias. Julias at the playground. Julias at the pool. Julias on the Internet, even. So far, we've escaped any Julias in her class (there are 3 Abbys, 2 Rachels and 2 Madelines in Julia's small preschool age group, but all of the Julias in the school are a year older or younger), but it's only a matter of time. "We already know of 3 other 3 year old Julias in our elementary school district," another Julia mom told me at the pool last week. It's not our district, thank goodness. But there are God knows how many more around here, and they'll all meet up by middle school. At the rate we're going, Julia's going to get off lucky if she's the only Julia T.

When Evan was born, we thought we'd be smarter about this naming thing. We still loved Ethan, the boy name we'd selected for Julia, but it had shot up in the rankings in the past several years and seemed too trendy now, so we settled on Evan, which had the same sound and cadence and flow with our last name, but none of the popularity of our first pick. Or so we thought. "Evan Benjamin," friends said when we introduced them to our new son. "What a great name. I just met another Evan recently..." And so it began again. Evans at the playground, Evans on the Internet, and this time, Evans at school. Unlike Julia, Evan is already Evan T in his Mommy and Me classes, and his friend Evan H will be in the same schools as our Evan straight through high school. And wouldn't you know it? Not a 1 1/2 year old Ethan to be found.

Being one of several kids with the same name isn't all bad. Abby J's mom tells me that the highlight of Abby's last school year was being "one of the Abbys" (go figure). And Julia certainly doesn't seem to mind -- perhaps even welcomes the idea -- of sharing her name. Even though I giggle every time I hear her playing with Lilly and Lilly, she seems completely oblivious to the fact that there's anything unusual about her naming choices. "Do you think our Julias are this generation's Jennifers?" I asked the other Julia mom at the pool last week. "Oh, God, I hope not, but I guess they may well be," she replied. We both looked sadly at our daughters for a moment, mourning the small amount of individuality they'll miss out on as a result of having such a common name. "I still love the name, though," I said. "And I can't imagine her as anything else." She promptly agreed.

Julia T. and Evan T... they both have a nice ring to them. Not quite the ring I had in mind, but I'll adapt. And if Julia gets annoyed at me some day for giving her such a common name, I'm going to remind her of the two Lillys. Those poor girls don't even have a last name to help people differentiate between them, and yet they seem to be doing just fine, thank you very much.


At 1:53 PM, Blogger Katrina said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Katrina said...

Well, Julia I understand, but how often do you hear about a 2 Julians? Everywhere I go, I run into the other Julian Credeur's name...yes...last names are the same too! We haven't actually met the other Julian yet...but he is a year older...mine is 7/7, his is 8/8...Crazy, huh?

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

Well, being a Kristy, the name you can pin down to the decade, and by spelling, the week, I have to admit, I NEVER, had another Kristy in my class. Go figure. Zoe? Tons of 'em around. I knew it would happen. Evan? Believe it or not, he's named after an Eva, so he had no choice...They all end up hating their names at some point anyway ;-)

At 5:55 PM, Blogger gkgirl said...

i also thought i was avoiding the
last name initial syndrome
when i chose emma
instead of emily...
ha. ha.
now there are at least 3 emmas
in HER class alone,
much less the rest of the school...

and not one emily.

yet i think we shall be safer
with campbell
so far all we have heard is
"isn't that a last name???"

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Have you seen this really cool site? It shows you the popularity of any given name per year. Warning: This one is addictive.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Lisa(lildaus) said...

OH, yes.... I had Emma's name picked out YEARS ago. Then Rachel Green had to go and name her TV baby "Emma". Nice.

Emma has been "Emma D" in daycare, or, more fondly "Emma G" by my grandmother (Grace, also quite popular, is her first middle name).

Lisa, also a name you can pin to the 70's, and VERY used to being "Lisa K" :)

At 7:12 AM, Blogger gkgirl said...

heh heh
mine is an emma g too
although in hindsight
(damn that 20/20)
i wish we would have always called
her by her full name
emma jayne...
which would have eliminated
the emma g...

At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Gretchen C. said...

Oh whoa, you are scaring me. And here I was so sure that I was doing my Julia a favor by not naming her Madison . . . now that you mention it, we saw a Cabbage Patch Kids commercial on TV the other day, and one of the Kids was called Julia Rose. Ack.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

If it makes you feel better even Emily isn't the new Jennifer. The percentage of girls named Jennifer in the 70's and 80's boggles the mind, no name currently comes close to that percentage. Around 1,188,300 US females are named Jennifer. Only about 284,325 US females are named Julia :)

Oh, and being another Jennifer hasn't hurt me any :) You can't go wrong choosing classic, correctly spelled names!

At 6:46 PM, Anonymous elizabeth rose said...

my best friend is also julia rose, heh


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