I never intended to be someone who guarded their baby’s name to “release it” when the baby was born. We are not celebrities; our babies names do not need to be treated with the protection of national security (really, no names do). The reason we have not announced baby girl’s name on social media is much more simple. I didn’t want to deal with the backlash. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has had input into what we should name our little girl. Chad and I knew that if we ever had a son, we would name him after Chad and his late father. Hence, Lucas “Luke” Richard Beach came really easily. Chad and I also have a hard time agreeing on names in general. You might not know this, but we are pretty big opposites. Dating Chad became a (sub)cultural experience in “nerdom” the likes of which I never imagined. I distinctly remember telling one of my best friends after our 2nd date that he painted something called “miniatures” which I thought were just really small canvases. Apparently, as I now know very well, miniatures are little metal toy solider looking things that you paint under a microscope and people buy them for ridiculous prices. Never would have known that if not for Chad.
Not saying he didn’t have an education in dating me as well. As much as I hate this expression, I am pretty much a basic white girl. I like leggings, boots, PSL’s, romantic comedies, puppies, and all of that stuff. I had never watched anime, read a fantasy based book, or heard about RPG’s (role playing games). Chad has two sisters so he knew about most girly things but they weren’t really his thing. Add together these two people together and ask them to name anything, even a car, and we would have two very different knowledge pools from which to draw.
For years, Chad has said that every name I like sounds Elvin or like something from Lord of the Rings (I wouldn’t know, I fell asleep in all of them, those movies are LONG!). The names he liked sounded old and dated. He wanted Biblical names or family names but Chad’s family are excellent procreator’s so we would be hard pressed to find a name that hadn’t been used before. I wanted turn of the century names straight out of Downton Abbey or a Jane Austen novel. He HATED all of them. And then we would discuss it with family and invariably, everyone has some connection to a name from elementary school or this name belonged to that kid who used to launder money and was now in federal prison. Plus we had the added bonus of making it go with the last name Beach which is awesome but can also tend to make a child’s name sound like a destination.
So, without further ado, we are naming our babies Luke and Leia. From Star Wars. Movies that i had not seen in their entirety until last year. Chad had jokingly called baby girl Leia for a long time, supposedly as a joke, but now I think it was subtle subliminal conditioning! I had said when we found out it was twins that if it was boy/girl we could talk about naming them Luke and Leia but that seemed to be a long shot. I really wanted boy/girl twins but didn’t want my daughter to hate me for naming her Leia when she was 15.
As I began to feel them move and kick in my belly, I would try on different names for her for a day at a time. I really wanted Sadie or Emerson. My family loved Eleanor and Chad’s family wanted her to be Lucy. Chad was set on either Leia, Sarah, or some other 40 year old name. So, for a day, I would call her Lucy or Sadie and invariably, none of them seemed to fit. I would come back calling her Leia in my head and of course, Chad would coo Leia at her all the time.
I researched that Leia meant Child of Heaven in Hawaiian and that started to make it more appealing. Baby B was my child from heaven, she had come a long way and survived some odds we didn’t think that she would. It was also unique and not in the top 100 which was something I wanted and it went well with Luke.
I started to tell family and friends that I thought her name was Leia. It started to feel like a decision that was almost outside of me, as if this was simply her name and that was the fact. I felt her “move and live and have her being” inside my belly and she had this feisty personality and she was a fighter. She would kick her brother and raise her fist at him when he encroached on her territory. She was and is still our little spunky lady who kicks me forcefully when I push on my ribs to get some relief from her invading them 24/7. And she is Chad’s princess. She is Leia in every way.
We are set to meet these babies in less than 3 weeks (heavens, I hope sooner). And time will tell if they like their names as much as we have come to. We put a lot of thought and prayer into the naming of each baby and despite naming them after pop culture, we did take it seriously. And though it has been hard for this people-pleasing mama, I am naming my babies after Star Wars and I am actually really, really ok with it. If you are one of the many who think we are crazy, all I can say is, May the Force Be With You.