"A rose by any other name would smell the same," frustratingly claims William Shakespeare's Juliet. But would it? If a rose would be named "swamp gas mustard pod," would a person willingly stick his nose into its gaseous petals? Not without conjuring the image of what something named swamp gas mustard pod would smell like. Would Alexander the Great of Macedonia! sound as powerful if he were Ralph the Great of Puxico? Great God in the Heavens Above, if that is so, then my babies are all in a world of trouble.
Persephone, pronounced "per sef oh knee," was the first of my attempts at naming a newly arrived soul to this place called Earth (think about it...what if Earth were really called Dirt or Mud then we'd live in either the Dirt or the Mud). Now you tell me, was her life influenced by her name? She's a middle aged teenager in high school, in the gifted drama and art program, sings, doesn't dance (thank God), writes, and spends her time anguishing over the fact that she wants to be a vegetarian but despises just about every vegetable except potatoes, beans, and lettuce. Moaning about the fate of the whales and desperately wanting world peace are two of her favorite pastimes. She wants to be an actress on Broadway or a painter in the streets of the French Quarter when she grows up. Persephone is a wonderful child. It would be impossible for me not to love the person she is becoming. However, does the fact that she also shares the name with the dramatic wife of the infamous Hades, ruler of the underworld, could have influenced the events of her life? Can a name be so powerful?
Caylith, pronounced cay lith, was my second attempt at the name game. She was going to be named Mercedes so that I could call her Sadie so that she could grow up and be spunky and cheerful and a member of the cheer squad. She was having none of that. No, she was definitely not a Mercedes...or even a Sadie. She was Caylith, queen dragon! And let me tell you, Miss Caylith was definitely the ruler of all. By the time she could speak, she had the world wrapped around her finger. Everyone was hers to command, even strange children in the park. Caylith is in her mid teens now, and I have to say that she grows to be more like a dragon everyday (except for eating her meat raw). She's independent, outspoken, fearless, among many other traits. As is her sister, Caylith is also in the gifted drama class. Her ambitions include becoming a director (as if she could take directions from anyone else), starring in her own movies, and marrying Orlando Bloom, Johnny Deep, and Jack Black. Polygamy anyone? So once again I ask, could the name have touched upon the sequence of events that have become her life? Hrmmm...
Years later I once again find myself doing the name game again. I have had three more lovely children. Abigail, who was almost named Antigony, Atticus, who was suppose to have been born before Abigail but decided to come a year after instead, and Avery, who was almost named Vorenus (he is probably thanking the name gods day and night for that name change). While life is just beginning, I can see them growing into their names. Will Abigail become wise, ever knowing? Will Atticus become the strong capable father and lawyer? And will Avery become the debonair lady killer...soft spoken, well groomed, polite?
Who knows...after all a name by any other name would be just the same!