Since before Holly was born, I have been hung up on the spelling of a person’s name. Perhaps it stems from my geeky spelling bee prowess of days gone by. Or maybe it was a glimpse of my future inner name police avocation. Nevertheless I obsessed over the spelling of the name of my first born child-to-be. It had to be perfect, perfect for my child. Then ten years later the little darling concluded that I had chosen the wrong spelling for her name. Clearly I was confused by all of those hormones coursing through my system.
And so then, and today, Holly spells her name differently…the way she believes it should be spelled…except on certain legal documents like her cosmetology license and her marriage license because her name on her birth certificate is still spelled H-O-L-L-Y. Sometimes I like to pretend that it is also because I have that much power as her great and powerful mom. Yes, Holly is laughing, rather hysterically right now, over that silly notion of mine.
My obsession with spelling the names of my clowns continued. Of course Holly would not be the only child whose name I obsessed over. The names we chose for our children had very specific meaning to us, right down to the spelling. We tried to keep them mostly simple and uncomplicated because we imagine that we are simple, uncomplicated people…at least to us we are. So the kids’ names are spelled with few intricacies, if any…well except for that umlaut over the “e” in Zoë…oh and the spelling of Abigael even though, in Abby’s own words, “only my mother calls me Abigael”. But beside that easy, basic and uncomplicated was our goal…for the kids, for their teachers, their friends, their family who have to write those names down from time to time.
It’s good to see one’s name in print: on report cards, in programs, in the paper, in cards and letters, in text messages, on your Facebook timeline, in your yearbook. It’s like seeing yourself in the mirror. It feels good.
Especially when it is spelled right. It’s like the person who wrote or typed your name knows you well enough and perhaps cares and respects you enough to spell your name correctly.
Asking my kids, I find that they too are a little hung up on the same thing. Their name is truly a part of who they are and, yes, they expect that those who know them best, those who are an important part of life whether at school, work, or family and friends who have known them for all of their existence should spell their name correctly…because it’s important to them…because you are important to them…because it’s who they are…because the names aren’t that hard to spell.
So, yeah, I don’t care for the spelling because that isn’t how I spelled it on her birth certificate but here I will declare that I will try to spell my daughter’s name the way that she likes it. You’re welcome Hollie!