My Rhody Blogger friend, Carla, has started a new series on her blog called Mom Before Mom. She wants to make sure her daughters get a chance to know her as not only mom, but the person she was before she became mom. I think it's a brilliant idea.
I've bought more books than you can count trying to get my grandparents and parents to document the stories that helped them become that person I love. Unfortunately it's too late to get those stories for some of them now. And while I don't have children, I love the idea of documenting my history. My stories.
Every week Carla is going to provide a writing prompt, and I'm thrilled to take part.
Prompt #1: How did you get your name? Did you always love it? Have you ever wanted to change it?
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The Hebrew name Sarah indicates a woman of high rank and is translated as "princess."
There is no romantic story behind how I got my first name. I wasn't named after a beloved family member or friend. There was no favorite artist, musician or actress that inspired my moniker. My parents chose to name me Sarah simply because they liked the name.
It turns out, my paternal great-grandmother was also named Sarah but I was not named after her.
My middle name is the same as my mother's and my beloved Aunt Anne (though I would always tell her she spelled it wrong, hers was the traditional spelling).
I've always liked my name. While at times I found it a bit boring and traditional, I loved that it meant Princess. It was a name that never embarrassed me, there weren't a lot of Sarah's in my classes (though it was the 11th most popular name the year I was born). It wasn't unique where people had a hard time trying to pronounce it.
I never had a cool nickname growing up. Sure, my mom called me RahRah, my dad lovingly called me Strawberry Shortcake and my grandfather always made me feel special by calling me Miss America, but I had no real nickname.
On the first day of school when the teachers took role call, I could never say "Excuse me, Mrs. X, please call me "some-super-cool-nickname". I was always just Sarah. And you know what? That's not all bad because while I may have felt a bit slighted my face never got red when the teacher called Aphrodite and my shy friend would say "Please, call me DeeDee." Note: there is absolutely nothing wrong with the name Aphrodite, it's beautiful, but was embarrassing for my friend when we were younger.
I tried to get a few nicknames to catch on, most notably Sam (my initials growing up) and Sa. Some close friends would call me Sam, but never on the regular and to this day only two people call me Sa (my neighbor Karen, who I would call Ka, and her dad).
As I'm sitting here I am remembering a pin that my grandparents brought me home as a souvenir from their trip to Hawaii (where, no doubt they went to see Penn State play in a bowl game). It was a white pin in the shape of a heart with a rainbow on it. It said Sarah and in smaller letters underneath is said Kala. The Hawaiin spelling of Sarah. I think I tried to get people to call me Kala for a while. In my high school German class I chose the name Soraya thinking it was the German spelling of Sarah (though honestly, I'm not sure that it is). I had an ex who was from Colombia and I liked when he would call me Sarita. Little Sarah. So while I never had a steady nickname, I did have quite a few different ones from different people.
Perhaps the thing that bothered me most about my name is when people would spell it wrong. Sara. That just looks wrong to me. It would annoy me if they would have ask "Sarah with an 'h'?" Yes, that is the correct way to spell it. It would annoy me more if they just left the h off. I get the irony since my middle name is spelled Ann.
I never had dreams of changing my name. I would sometimes wish there was an i so I could draw it with a cute little heart over top, or that I had a cool androgynous name like Alex. I always loved my Australian pen-pal's name Jocelyn, but I never really wanted to change mine. I figured when the time came I could adorn my baby girl with one of those adorable and less-traditional names. Funny thing, the older I get the more I'm drawn back to traditional names.
I found it cool that there were so many songs about Sarah's.
- The one by Starship (or Jefferson Starship, I think they changed their name to just Starship)
- The one by Hall and Oates
- Bob Dylan's Version
- or Fleetwood Macs
- How about the popular Que Sera Sera (while not really Sarah, it was always sung to me!)
The only part of my name that was difficult growing up was my last name. It was an easy name to tease. I never felt it was quite right because it was such an Irish name, while the majority of the heritage I knew about is German (funny enough, my married name is German though my husband's heritage is majority Irish).
For that reason, I didn't have a hard time changing in when I got married even though I married into a mouthful of a name that nobody can spell or pronounce.
I didn't feel like I lost a connection with my family by changing my name. I'm so close with them it went beyond the name; we've got blood. With my new family my new name gave me an instant connection and I kind of loved that.
What about you? How did you get your name? Hop on over to Carla's blog to link up your story!