Aditi Wardhan Singh

What’s in a name ?

My son spelled his name for the first time today. It was a surreal experience. I had spent the last couple of days going over it with him so that he can recognize his name during the Easter egg hunt and today he says, ” Let me do it myself. ” and as he said letter after letter, my heart beat in anticipation as if I was watching a suspense movie and the ending surprised and exhilarated me at the same time.

In retrospect it was hilarious, because of course I knew the answer, I just wanted to know if he came to the same conclusion as me. The pride I felt was borderline narcissist for when I asked who taught him the spelling, he replied,” You, teacher hobby mom.”


Once the laughter died off my lips, I looked over at where his name appears repeatedly all over the wall on which his school art work is displayed. My heart did a little flip as I felt howperfect for him this name is, which I gave him after months of soul searching and consideration. His name means a variety of things, peace, rising star, the rustling of leaves all of which I love. Peace because it was only after I met their father did l I know what that feeling meant. And rising star for what I wish he may one day be himself.  Which brings me to my daughter’s name which stands for magic which I hope never goes away from our lives.

I remember the back and forth and endless research I did only for his dad veto n number of names for seemingly benign reasons. And when I did come upon the meaning of the name I finally gave him there was no doubt that this is what we would name him. For his sister we were confused till the morning I went into the hospital but the minute we saw her we knew the one that was perfect for her.

I wonder if  my husband, my children, I are all people who in any other scenario could be named anything but  would we be the same people? That’s a discussion for another time. For now, It’s amazing how these names now so much a part of our lives were just words we heard in passing with no second thought. Now these same words, for the people they denote are more dear to us than even our own. That’s what’s amazing about a name !


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