What’s in a Name?

Almost two decades ago, on a Sunday afternoon, as my husband and I were quite busy shoveling popcorn into our respective faces, watching a movie marketed almost entirely to children, we knew precisely two things:  (1) Parenting was not for us; and (2) Our first child would be named Oscar Farias.

How did we know this?  Well, my husband’s last name is Farias; so, when we were reading the movie’s credits—merely a feeble excuse to finish the last vestiges of our popcorn–the name Oscar Farias understandably caught our attention and then promptly and more than a little unwittingly took up residence in our souls.  We thought Oscar was a great name—one everyone has heard of but seldom actually hear.  And it sounded quite right with Farias—maybe not mellifluous, but surely good. IMG_4459

My husband turned to my buttery face and asked between his own mouthfuls of popcorn, “If we ever have a son, can we name him Oscar?”  I said, “Sure,” and that, I think, is how we decided to start a family.

Our Oscar Farias was not born for another nine years; but born he most certainly was, named in our hearts and minds nine years prior in a darkened movie theater as we sat in a butter-induced stupor.

IMG_4357And seeing his name in print is still a surreal experience for me.

Since his arrival in 2004, we have, of course, seen his name in print countless times—his birth certificate, his first and subsequent efforts writing it, on his schoolwork and report card, on the programs of his now-dozens of violin recitals.  But there is something about seeing it on an award, on a recognition for a job well done, that moves me—even confuses me–because it still doesn’t seem entirely real.

On a late afternoon in 1995, in mere seconds, we went from truly believing parenting would best be left to others to naming our first son.  We staunchly carried his name with us for nearly ten years, waited for him to arrive, then handed it to him.

And look what he’s done with it.  Already.   In just nine years.

Oscar Farias.

First just a notion, a fervent wish even, then our son.


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