Update week continues, and part of the fun is getting to see that the fun tone in letters continues in the updates, like this one from the writer of Astounded/Euphoric/Blunt/True


Sincerely thank you for your incredible response. If you are ever in Nebraska, or Ann Arbor (I go to work there a lot) Lets grab a drink!

So here’s the story… He came a few days early. We ended up in the NICU for a few assorted, yet treatable issues. We left him unnamed for the first 4 days but when I checked out, but he stayed in, they needed a name for him. Baby Boy Alexandra wasn’t going to cut it.

As first time parents, we had no idea what to expect. We were so surprised by our love for him. No name seemed special enough. When I read (in a drug-haze) that Casper meant “treasure” (it doesn’t) I thought it was perfect. Upon rereading, we realized it means “TreasureR” and my husband felt that “accountant” didn’t really fit him at the time. Yes, George means “farmer,” but here we are.

I truly wanted George Griffin. I figured if I just waited it out for a while my husband would come around.  He was very unenthused about it. It seemed like the wrong thing to push when you have a baby hooked up to breathing and feeding tubes. I push in so many other areas I just let it go. He liked that Frederick honored my maiden name. I get my Harry Potter reference with George and Fred. I thought I would call him Fritz (it doesn’t fit him yet, maybe it will when he doesn’t seem like a 90 year old man). We do call him Boy George, and Big G (which is an accidental nod to my love for this site!) He is in fact, BIG.

Do I have regrets about his name? Absolutely.

Griffin DOES fit him, too. I constantly would think about it. He’s like a little monster full of big emotions and he’s incredibly strong. Once his Social Security card came in the mail I was a little devastated. Its real, its official, its done.

I guess I could change it.

Here’s a story... When I was little I hated my name. I begged my mom to change it. She told me it was very expensive, a whopping $10,000. That when I got older I could save money to change it. Fast forward to me at age 27. My husband mentioned he knew someone who changed her name. I responded with, “where did she get $10,000?!” The look on my husbands face was everything. I very quickly realized this was Santa Claus all over again. (Apparently, I’m very gullible and never looked into it. I just assumed the paperwork must be expensive. Plus I grew to love my name so there was no need.) Current family joke from him, “Well George can always save 10k to change it...”

For the future:
We are keeping that accountant name for #2 (girl or boy), Harvey, Claire, and Greer as our back ups. I was tickled to read a writer who’s saving Georgia to go with her Harvey!

I had a friend tell me if I didn’t use your recommendation for Gilbert she would disown me. She has not yet!

Your letter did give me lots of reassurance that:
1. I am who I am and part of the joy of this experience is letting my silliness and whimsy in, and thats a gift to our baby.
2. My taste isn’t terrible, Griffin is great!
3. Fight for what I want (I’ll do better next time!)

Sending you so much love from the midwest!

P.S. Thank you so much. I loved my letter back. It brought me so much joy during a very uncomfortable week. You nailed me on the head pretty and my friends and husband loved it. I called them and was all, “Am I truly this MUCH?!” Their response was a lot of laughter and a resounding… “YES.”

P.P.S. The NICU staff was so surprised by the name George, they all mentioned they could not remember a baby George in their years there. (There were 50 babies at the time in the NICU, lots of Caiden/Cayden/Kadens etc… surprised by a Rhett).

P.P.P.S. - You are correct about August babies. No surprise, I am one.

Listen, from one August baby to another… never change. But please, PLEASE show this sequence of letters to Baby Boy George when he’s, say, seven-year-old George, because I bet he’ll find it hilarious (and impossible that he could be anyone other than himself!) Also, way to wake up the NICU staff to the way trends are going! 


Next we have the delightful epilogue to the letter in Best Of All Worlds:

Hi again Duana!

Can’t thank you enough for your response to our name choice of Trey and how to make the most of it!

My husband and I debated about making Cecil the first name, but calling him Trey- which would officially make the baby a “III” as his great grandpa was named after a great great grand uncle Cecil. But at the end when I had my son on May 28th and we got to finally look at him and say the different variations of his name, we decided on Trey Cecil Lastname. We love the name, and are surprised by how much everyone else around us loves the name as well....You should see how proud my hubby is when they mention his grandfather and then make mention of hubby’s three-pointers as well. It all came together for us and we thank you immensely for your help! You gave us a lot to think about and really helped solidify naming our last child for us!

Thank you!

Guys! I mean, I love praise and I’m never gonna be upset about receiving any, but let’s be real here – you guys already had the name, and you were the ones who deployed it so stylishly, as all the compliments attest! So you can go ahead and take those props back on your shoulders, you deserve them! 


Next we’re going WAY back for an update to When Is A Name An Egg?:
(and I have to say, you guys give me a LOT of leeway where these column titles are concerned… )

Hi Duana!

Just read your latest name column and it was great as always, but reminded me that I never sent the name update.

In the end, we went with August - so we do in fact have a child named august calendar.
It's funny, and is probably the case with every baby, now that he is here, we can't imagine him with any other name and we are, of course, obsessed with him and totally in love.

Thanks again for reading my letter and giving us the courage to go with our beloved name!



Okay, next – this is an update to If Every Day Could Be Christmas, but the delightful update-writer references another column,  Wishing And Hoping And Thinking And Singing, which remains one of the most contentious I’ve written, not because of the advice I gave, but the song choice associated therein… here’s the update. 

Duana! I am hopelessly late in sending you an update after you answered my letter with an expert opinion on naming my holiday-season daughter. A friend sent me this column that I missed recently, and it was the perfect reminder to follow up with you!
She ended up being a few days overdue, born on Dec 29.  Your letter helped us think about the holiday association and how much we would be bothered by it, and in the minutes after she arrived decided to go for it. Gloria is now 9 months old, and Laura Branigan/Green Day/Van Morrison/The Lumineers are on repeat over here. We love how many Gloria songs there are.

Thanks again for your advice! Hope we are starting a Gloria trend :)


Finally, here’s a short and super-sweet response to the problem proposed in Vicarious Victories:

Hi Duana,

Thanks for answering my letter! I loved Harriet and had been pushing it too but a family friend used it for her baby the week before my niece was born and it felt a bit too close.

Anyway! Baby Matilda (Tilly) Kathleen was safely delivered on 11 November and is doing well despite being a month early. And brother Teddy loves to point out his baby!

Thanks for all your suggestions, I’m saving them up in case I have a girl!

Thank YOU all for all your updates, including the people who are spurred to send theirs in when they see these! More updates next time, all of them from amazingly-named young people now in our midst!