My life is an open book. I have never been secretive about anything concerning myself. If it’s someone else’s secret, then yes, I am like a vault but anything regarding me, not so much.
After we found out that we were having a boy we got to work on choosing a name. From the start, Q and I were thinking about giving him an Italian name. I have one (seems like half of Italy is named Maria) and my father’s family is from Italy. It just made sense to me to consider an Italian name as an option.
Plus, Italian names sound really cool. I would take an Italian boys name over most names that you see in those Pottery Barn Holiday catalogues where they show the monogrammed stockings hanging on the mantle (actually if you name your kid any of those names chances are there will be 10 other kids in his/her class with the same name). Consider yourself warned.
Q and I scoured the web and one of those handy baby names books to look for ideas. My Grandfather’s name was Francisco which I love but that didn’t feel right to me. My father’s name is Vicente but that’s also my brother’s name and my nephew’s name. Really there are so many great names it was very hard to choose. We loved Massimo and Bruno. On the other hand we wanted to approach this with an open mind and consider all the names we liked regardless if they were Italian or not. Q was a huge fan of the name Julius and I have always had affection for the name Colin, but since I have been pregnant neither of those names seemed to fit for our baby.
Another factor was I really wanted a name that meant something really cool, unlike my name. My name in Hebrew means “bitter”. Awesome, that’s exactly how I want to be described! “Hi, I’m Maria & I’m bitter”. Very nice.
It didn’t take us too long to choose a name. We found the name Leonardo in the baby name book and we just couldn’t get it out of our heads. Especially how he would have “Leo” as his nickname. How adorable is that? We also found that Leonardo comes from the name Leonard which in German means “Brave as a Lion”. Now I know neither of us is German, but that sealed the deal for me. If this little guy is ever scared of something I can remind him that the root of his name means “Brave as a Lion”. It makes me smile. It just felt right, Leo it is.
We are not proactively advertising his name, no Facebook post or anything like that but if someone asks “do you have any names?” I tell them. I have gotten some wide eyed looks after revealing this as if I shouted my pin for my ATM card. People have said “oh my god you’re telling people”? Well yes, this is our son, just a regular person, I am not giving birth to a prince or the second coming of Christ. What is the drama about? Wont people find out eventually anyway?
After asking around and researching this a bit Now I understand that many people don’t reveal the baby’s name because they worry about people sharing their opinions. People will always have an opinion though, what’s to stop them from sharing their opinion after the baby is born? A few people saying some negative comments will not change my opinion on the name we chose. And yes, I am well aware there is a very popular actor named Leonardo as well as a Ninja Turtle. Thanks, but it doesn’t matter and no I didn’t name him after a Ninja Turtle or DiCaprio (it is slightly annoying though that no one mentions DaVinci- that man was a genius).
Also, if you don’t like hearing people’s opinions then I have very bad news. You will be getting all sorts of unsolicited advice on how to raise your child for the next 18 years. If something like someone not liking the name you chose can get under your skin then you better brace yourself. You haven’t seen anything yet.
Something that has been very nice is to call Leo by his name instead of calling him “peanut” or “bean” or some other small food. The whole “peanut” thing wouldn’t have worked for me. When Q and I discuss future travel plans with our family, we say “I can’t wait to take Leo there” or “Look what my mom bought for Leo”. It’s really fun. He’s already here with us and a part of our family. I don’t want to miss out on that just because of worrying about what other people think.
Ultimately, I hope you do what feels right for you. If this is something you don’t care to share then don’t. I just have a big mouth.
Here are some articles about why you shouldn’t share your baby’s name if you’re interested in reading another perspective since you already heard me ramble on and on (and thank you for listening):