I promised you all a post about why I chose the name Seren for my baby girl, so here it goes. As far as I know, unlike my other two kids, Seren is not named after any hula hoop enthusiasts. (But wouldn’t it be a cool coincidence if there was a well known hula hoop professional named Seren?) The only somewhat famous Seren I found on the webs is a model that isn’t shy about flaunting her ta-tas. I should call her publicist – maybe she’d be willing to work a hula hoop into her next photo shoot. I digress.
I first heard the name many years ago. I was in the mood to watch an exciting, edge of your seat thriller, so I turned on the National Spelling Bee. I don’t know how it happened, but suddenly I was totally sucked into the show. I wasn’t board. I was fascinated by the whole thing.
Ok, maybe fascinated is going a bit far, but I was entertained enough to keep watching. Long story short, one of the contestants was told she got a word wrong. She looked confused, but sat down. The spelling continued with the other
nerds contestants until suddenly there was a kerfuffle among the judges. As it turned out, the speller had gotten the word correct, and the judges had been wrong. They apologized profusely and let her continue on in the competition. She was so gracious and polite about the whole affair. I was struck by her poise and sweet nature, and I took note of her unusual name. Saryn Hooks.
Hmmm, what a lovely name. I didn’t like that they spelled it with a “y” though. I would have gone with an “i”. *cough* I was unfamiliar with the poisonous neurotoxic gas at the time… My perseverating over the name was a moot point though, because I like to name my children Welsh or Irish names, so Saryn (or Sarin – which I quickly learned was a neurotoxin) wasn’t an option for me.
Imagine my delight to discover years later that Saryn was a Welsh name! Or rather, Seren. It was perfect! It was beautiful! It sounded great with the middle name I had chosen for my coming baby girl, and it fit in nicely with her siblings’ names. Jesse liked it too!
And then that unpronounceable Syrian dude had to be an asshole and poison a bunch of innocent people using sarin gas, skyrocketing the name to every headline and putting it on the lips of every reporter for weeks on end. My baby name sounded identical to a weapon of mass destruction. If I went ahead with naming her Seren, I was sentencing her to years of answering the question, “Like the gas?” every time she introduced herself.
Jesse balked. My parents were horrified. My dad said, “Great! And if it’s a boy, you can name him Ricin.”
I was forced to begin defending my choice at every turn. It’s not like I made the name up for crying out loud. “It was the most popular name for girls in Wales in 2010!” I said. “We’re not in Wales. We’re in America.” Jesse answered.
“But you agreed! You said you liked the name!” I screeched.
“That was before people started associating it with death and civil war.”
Finally I reluctantly agreed to consider other suggestions. My one request was that they be Welsh names.
That opened the flood gates. Jesse would pepper me with names. Most of them trendy or awful, none of them Welsh. He was desperate; grasping at anything, anything at all to avoid naming his daughter a name that sounded like a poison. It wasn’t so much that he hated the name – remember, he had originally loved it and agreed to it – it was more that he was uncomfortable with what other people would think. *eye roll* Jesse always cares so much about public opinion. Regular readers know I don’t suffer from that particular affliction.
After several days of hearing random names thrown at me, each one stinging like a bullet from a paint ball gun, I calmly said to my husband, “When I agreed to consider other names I didn’t realize how upsetting it was going to be. This is really starting to bother me.” I was actually close to tears – but that was pretty common in those hormone laden days. I was accused of being selfish, and not being willing to compromise. I wanted to like another name, Internet. Honestly! If I could only hear a name that felt right, or made sense like Seren did. Pregnant women will tell you, there is a sense of the passenger within. I knew my baby girl was not a Kalyn, or a Carter, or any of the other names being suggested.
When Seren was finally born – in the SERENity suite, no less – she became Seren by default. We hadn’t agreed on another name, and my husband had just witnessed me experience natural childbirth. I could name her whatever I wanted.
Despite the occasional look of pity I get every now and then from someone who thinks I don’t know about sarin gas when I tell them my baby’s name, I am happy with our choice. Sure, sarin is a poisonous gas, but Saryn is a smart, successful young woman, Serin is a beautiful little song bird, and Seren is my sweet baby girl; a sweet baby girl with a Welsh name that means little star.
Oh, and I couldn’t resist altering the announcement I sent to my dad. Was it in poor taste? Absolutely.