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Baby Names and Super Powers

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This time of year always brings me back to when we were thinking of names for our daughter, Claire. Yes, she was born five-and-a-half years ago…

…at the end of November,

but the end of June and first part of July is when the Linden tree blooms right outside my home office. (photo credit: me)

Wait. What?

You see, when I was pregnant with Claire, one of my super powers was Smell-Detection-And-Identification. I could tell you what the people in the neighborhood across the lake had in their garbage by standing in front of my open bedroom window, a mile away. If the wind was blowing, it was even easier, but not necessary.

“Watermelon rinds, approximately 3 days old. Coffee grinds, from this morning. Ohhh, chocolate candy-bar wrappers, the Twix variety.”

Coffee smelled like skunks, so there was some translation needed before giving my response to the people outside my head, but my abilities were mind-blowing.

This super power was challenging when grocery shopping. There were whole aisles I had to avoid or hold my breath while walking down. Meanwhile, I could lose track of time smelling the mangoes.

My husband does most of the cooking around here, and he never knew what would happen when a meal was ready to eat. There are foods that have never tasted so savory before or since. I had to refrain from making audible noises of joy while eating. Other foods would make me gag before even making it out of the pan.

Pregnancy was quite the ride…for all of us.

Then, there was the Linden tree outside my office.

To fully describe the aroma of the blossoms on this tree, I’d have to sing a song while tossing colored glitter around the room, all the while doing some interpretive dancing with scarves.

It was magical. It was intoxicating. It was so powerful that I wanted to bestow upon our baby girl the name Linden. My husband, always the voice of reason, wouldn’t allow his daughter to be named after a tree. Not even one that smelled so incredibly awesome. Even if his wife had super powers.

Party Pooper.

(He wasn’t a complete fuddy-duddy. When asked, we told people we were naming her “Nebulona Roku.” When they asked why, we’d explain that “Nebulona” is the female version of Nebulon and “Roku” is Japanese for 6. “Of course,” we’d add with a completely straight face. We have a friend who still calls her that.)

But…when it came to the real name, I knew he was right. There would be no naming of children after trees. We went the practical route: We ended up naming our daughter the only name we both liked that we could both spell. Claire is Claire, and I can’t see her as anything else.  

Still…even without the pregnancy hormones soaking in my veins, the Linden tree smells so good. When the breeze wafts through my window and I smell that glorious smell, I smile.  I remember when I had super powers.

Have you ever had super powers? Could your child also be known by a genus and species name in Latin?

Author: JoAnn

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  • comment avatar Jaime Swartzendruber July 6, 2011

    What a sweet story for Claire Nebulona Roku 😉 Pregnancy is such a miracle! I had the best meal of my life when I was pregnant with Noelle – it was at a restaurant so, of course, I keep hoping…never quite the same deliciousness.

    • comment avatar JoAnn July 6, 2011

      I remember the green beans at Ted’s Montana Grill being FANTASTIC!! They were the BEST green beans I’d EVER had. I even made my hubby taste them. He assured me that they were just “normal green beans.” Ha.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 6, 2011

    No Super Powers here. Our one story with naming our kids was I had a co-worker whose darling kiddos were named Hadley and Geo (Geoffrey). My husband agreed to the first but said, “There is no way my son is being named after a crap car.” 🙂

    • comment avatar JoAnn July 6, 2011

      …with a middle name of Metro? 😉

  • comment avatar Lauren July 6, 2011

    I knew a baby girl named Linden back home. I think it’s cute! 🙂

    • comment avatar JoAnn July 6, 2011

      I told him we didn’t know anyone named Linden, so it wouldn’t be THAT bad…as one of his criteria was that we couldn’t know anyone named whatever name we chose. How funny.

  • comment avatar JoAnn July 6, 2011

    One thing I didn’t put in the post…my husband had a whole series of criteria for naming our daughter. (which is why we ended up with one name we both liked and could spell). I had to use the SSA database and prove to him that it wasn’t “too popular” and it couldn’t be shortened. The Baby Name Wizard website (and book) were very helpful!!

  • comment avatar Ratna July 6, 2011

    I am so glad we have an entire culture to help us pick names… of course, now our daughter “Diya” (DEE-YA)which means lamp/light in our culture gets teased and called a “Quesadilla” ugh! Great article!

    • comment avatar JoAnn July 6, 2011

      Oh no! I think Diya is a really pretty name! Kids will always find something to pick on, won’t they?

      We were sure to scrutinize initials and one of the other names I loved was one we couldn’t agree on the spelling…but it also rhymed with a cleaning product, so that one was out. Ha.

  • comment avatar Connie Weiss July 6, 2011

    I like that name!

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