My darling baby:

As your existence becomes more evident, people have begun asking questions about you. When you are due? Are you a boy or a girl? Have you picked out names? Choosing a name for you has led to many discussions in our house. We want to chose just the right name for you, that will bring you pride, that we all feel comfortable with and that will roll off our tongues easily.

Choosing names for your brothers was not difficult, but for you we are struggling. Your dad and I have a formula we follow when choosing names. For the first name we like traditional names that can be used in full or shortened. For middle names we like to use names with familial significance. It all seems so easy, yet this time it’s quite hard and I must admit part of the problem is your dad and I. Your daddy has liked the name Victoria for quite a while. I have no problem with the name Victoria, except for the fact that it was going to be your brother Michael’s name if he was a girl. I know this seems crazy but it is almost as if Victoria is a used name. We had a chance for a Victoria, but thank God, we got your big brother Michael. Your dad thinks this is totally crazy and he is probably right, but he accepts where I am coming from and Victoria is off the list for now.

Another problem is that I struggle with teacher syndrome. As a teacher, I have worked with many children who have touched my life in different ways. But, I must admit that not all of those children have left me with memories I want to recall each time I call your name. Combine that with daddy’s issue with initials – he likes to figure out how initials go together, what words they make or what short forms you could later be teased with.

Even with all of these quirks and conditions, we were able to come up with some names. If you are a boy, your dad suggested Benjamin Machiel or Jonathan Paul. Daddy choose Benjamin simply because he liked it and Machiel after his Opa (grandfather). Unfortunately, when daddy realized your initials would be B.M. he was no longer so sure of that name. Admittedly, Jonathan Paul came after World Youth Day. Hearing everyone, including your brother Michael, chant “John Paul II, we love you” over and over again made that name stick in our minds and fortunately, it fit into our formula. If we only had two names, it wouldn’t seem so overwhelming, but your brother Patrick threw in Christopher, I threw in Matthew and Daddy threw in David. Now, we are no closer for boys names than we were several months ago.

Once daddy agreed to not name you Victoria, I thought we would be set on a girl’s name, Kathryn. We were still deciding between two middle names (Johanna or Anne) but the first name was chosen. At least until I opened my mouth and suggested Samantha. Now, even if you are a girl you no longer have a chosen name.

Not knowing what else to do, your dad and I thought it would be a good idea to run the names by your brothers and ask if they had any suggestions. At first, Patrick was not able to give us any names he liked, just a bunch he didn’t like. Luckily for me, Victoria was on that list. However, being the resourceful boy that he is, he went and asked his friends for ideas and came back with a list. Patrick’s list was short and became shorter once we crossed off the non-traditional and the I-had-a-student-once names.

Michael, on the other hand, had a name immediately: Fierce Rainbow. Michael thinks this is the best name for you, because it can be for either a boy or a girl. I must admit, Fierce Rainbow Tuns has a ring to it, but more for a professional wrestler than you.

My darling, by the time you arrive, I am sure we will have chosen a name and if this is the biggest problem we have to face, we are doing okay. Please know that as a family, we chose your name with much love. Even if you are a boy and find yourself getting teased because your name is Fierce Rainbow or your initials are B.M., remember we love you and we could always call you by a nickname.