Jessica had her baby yesterday! As I was reading all about it, I couldn’t help but notice the disapproving comments on the baby name they chose as the parents for their baby girl!!! It reminded me of this old little thing I wrote and wanted to share again. Enjoy!
Today we are celebrating the birth of my cousin Brenda’s baby boy, Damian. With today’s technology, I had the play by play on her decision to be induced, to her trip to the hospital, to the time of the 8cm dilation and pictures and video of the new baby boy via text, Facebook and the old fashioned telephone call. I was super excited and I kept asking my cousin Yvette about the baby’s name. She must have told me five times in the last three months that the baby boy will be named Damian. I couldn’t believe it was so different and even expressed my preference for other names. Today, I still sent her a message this morning confirming the spelling of Damian and to make sure I didn’t miss a middle name. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it and had a revelation. There was a clear indication that our extended 60+ Roman family was moving on from the common names such as Jesus (we have 4 in the Roman family), Jose (2 including a Maria Jose) and Maria (5 that I know of). Oh, but this does not even compare to my husband Jose’s Banda side of the family!!! Forget about the names, you also have to memorize the typical Mexican nicknames.
When I first met Jose, I met a lot of his family with nicknames such as Baby, Bibi, Panchito, La Bola, and he himself was known as Chepe (you know, because Jose isn’t short enough). There was also a Charlie and it seemed weird to me that this cousin had such an American name. There was also a Paco and I have a cousin Paco so that was normal. But names such as Kako for a Ruben really surprised me as I struggled to keep everyone straight. His sister Gloria Melissa was just “Meli” but when I call her at work, I don’t know who to ask for!! Or I have to double check when I send out a dirty email that it doesn’t go to her mother, my mother-in-law who is also Gloria!!!
This weekend, Jose had a real good laugh as I was preparing the guest list for his parent’s 40th Anniversary Surprise Party. I kept asking questions like, “Who is Juan Fransisco?” and he would say, “um, Panchito?” Oh. Then, “Who is Juan Carlos?” He replied, “That would be Bibi”. But isn’t Carlos Alberto really Charlie? And then, “”Who is the other Juan? Juan Alberto?” “BOLA!!!!” He couldn’t believe that I couldn’t keep the names straight. I continued deciphering between Juan Manuel (Tio Mane is how I know him) and then there’s Jorge Manuel and 2 Francisco Antonios!!!!
We were guilty as well when naming our little boy Diego Antonio. Jose is Jose Antonio because Jose’s grandfather was Antonio and Jose really wanted to honor his grandfather by giving Diego the middle name. We later found out that a Don Diego was a great-great grandfather and even a mayor of Cerritos, San Luis Potosi. Oh, this had the Banda family jumping for joy although I didn’t honor that poor man on purspose! I guess it is what it is and I am kind of proud that Don Diego was so important to the town and to the family.
In all the Velascos, Romans, Bandas and Galvans, I haven’t heard of a Damian and it was refreshing to hear Damian. Just Damian. Although it is honorable, meaningful and touching to name our children after our ancestors, it is also nice to hear something different and unique. We don’t want to forget where we came from and at the same time, like Juliet said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” A Roman is still a Roman. From the girl who grew up with one cousin Chuy, one Tio Chupis one Tio Chucho and 2 Abuelitos Jesus, let’s think of a little apodo for the little Damian…
P.s. I’m still keeping our Baby #3 name kinda under wraps…sshhhh! Can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks! xoxo