I was flipping through last month’s issue Parenting Early Years and spotted this quote:
My name, Kelly, is extremely common. I have found it frustrating my entire life–I still turn around when someone calls my name in a store. So for my children, I chose names that ended up being moderately common and spelled them very alternatively, so that at least they wouldn’t have the problem in school of always getting back the wrong paper!
That “very alternatively” part worries me.
I’ve heard dozens (hundreds?) of versions of this story. They begin with a parent who believes his or her name is flawed on some way. They end with a baby name that isn’t flawed in the same way, but flawed in an entirely new way.
Kelly’s children won’t be getting the wrong papers back in school. Instead, they’ll be spelling their names out for people for the rest of their lives. Even worse, complete strangers who see their names before meeting them in person may judge them harshly because of those unusual spellings.
I think it’s great that Kelly didn’t want her kids to be frustrated by their names as she was frustrated by hers. But I do wonder if she considered the consequences of spelling their names “very alternatively.”