What’s in a Name?
Back in my single days, I had a persona that I would use while out with my girlfriends. If anyone approached me that I was not interested in getting to know, I would say that my name was Veronica. It became a signal to my friends that my intuition had red-flagged this guy and that I was unleashing my alter ego to protect us.
Veronica was smart and independent and had no time for your BS. In fact, she once responded to being called a “witch” (I’m trying to keep this post PG) for politely passing on a free drink from a potential suitor by saying that a real “witch” would have taken the drink and then ignored him anyway. Veronica also walked up to a guy she caught making lewd gestures behind her friend’s back and told him to take a hike. Sometimes, just a single preemptive stink eye would successfully keep creeps at a distance.
When it came time to name my first daughter, I had my heart set on naming her Veronica. My husband wasn’t on board right away, but seeing as my inner Veronica does what she wants, that was her name. She was born with an “I’m not convinced” expression on her face and zero tolerance for my lack of mothering skills, so I was confident that I had succeeded in creating my Veronica.
Over the next year, she picked up the nickname RaRa and started to reveal her unique personality. The more I got to know my anxious little girl who was quick to cry and weary of new experiences, I couldn’t help but feel like my bubble had burst. It’s not that I wanted her to be a different person, I just wanted her to be confident in the person she was. That’s when I realized that Veronica was never a different persona, she was me being confident in who I was. I was smart. I was independent. And, I definitely didn’t have time for anyone’s BS. My inner Veronica didn’t come out until I was in college. Why should I expect hers to show up in the first few years of her life?
As time passes, RaRa has tapped into her inner Veronica more and more. In certain situations, she will introduce herself as Veronica, and it’s like her signal to us that she wants her true self to be seen. In those moments, she is chatty, thoughtful, and dramatic – the real Veronica.
I have learned there is no way to predict or choose who your children will become. All we can do as parents is give them the confidence and freedom to be themselves. They will take care of the rest.