I absolutely adore the names that you chose for your children, and I was wondering if you have any names that got away?  If so, would you be willing to share? I have to say, I’m always curious what you would name another handful of children! — Thanks so much, Trisha


What a fun question, Trisha! I love the phrase you use: the names that got away. That’s perfect! I do have a list. Or at least a couple of little stories. When I was pregnant for the second time, and we’d found out it was a girl, we started chatting about names. I suggested Claire, (which I love!) And Ben started laughing. “Claire Blair?” he asked? Ugh! I hadn’t even thought about the first and last names together! When I realized they formed a full-on rhyme, which I was not okay with, I about burst into tears.

Then, when I was pregnant for the 3rd time, I was positive I was having a boy (I wasn’t), and we starting picking out names. We really liked one of the Blair family names: Charles Sargeant Green, and we planned on naming baby number 3 Charles Sargeant Blair. But baby number 3 turned out to be Olive! And when the next boy arrived (Oscar), Charles Sargeant didn’t feel quite right, so we saved it for a possible future son. Since we’re done having babies, it’s now officially a name-that-got-away.

Other names that have made our short list over the years: Mabel, Maxine, Beatrice and Hazel. But I can’t remember any of our boy names! In general, we’re drawn to the names from our grandparent’s generation. Easy to pronounce. Easy to spell. But currently uncommon. A name with some history. A name our kids will discover as they get to know great books. As a mental test, whenever we were talking about names, I would imagine my kids as 80-year-olds, sitting at a card table playing canasta. If the name we were considering fit at the table, it got a green light. : )

And now, I’m so curious I have to ask: Do you have any names that got away too? I’d love to hear them!

P.S. — I’ve been answering Ask Design Mom questions since 1996! Light stuff like this and heavier stuff like this too. You can find the whole series here. Also, the image of my kids was shot by Sarah of Modern Kids.