Thursday, September 12, 2019

Back-to-School Routine and the Naming of Babies

Photo courtesy of Surdumihail on Pixabay.

This week has been another week of “adaptation” – but this time, I’m not talking about my son at daycare. I’m talking about me and my schedule. This year, it’s about ferrying my daughter around to school and ballet and theater classes, as well as getting my son back and forth to daycare a few times a week. So much the same as every other parent on the planet! Since my husband is in the middle of a restaurant launch, I’m holding down the fort here at home. I told him that after a few months, he’s going to look relaxed and refreshed and I’m going to look about twenty years older. Ha!

Things should ease up by next week (wishful thinking?) once the routine is in place and I don’t have the little “extras” like running out to buy the new leotard or tap shoes. And as I drag myself around Paris in a hot and sometimes too slow subway, I think of my friends back home in Florida, carting their kids off to track and field practice at 6 a.m. The good thing about Paris is nothing starts that early.

And speaking of Paris, well actually France, I’ll get back to writing about some of the surprising/funny/frustrating etc. things about living here. A friend of mine nudged me to talk about the naming of kids, something I’ve encountered twice. So how about I start with that?

Wind back the clock nine years, and we’re about to have our daughter. Here in France, the name has to be registered at the city hall – and accepted. Sometimes they’ll refuse the spelling, like if you want to spell “Christine” “Krystyne,” it might not make it through. Other times the actual name itself might be rejected. If your last name is “Split” and you want to name your kid “Banana,” you can be pretty sure it’s not going to fly.

Naming has actually has become a lot easier over the past several years. My mother-in-law, who worked at a city hall in France, said they used to be a lot stricter thirty years ago. In any case, my big worry was the middle name I’d chosen: “Jean,” after my dear aunt and godmother. In French, “Jean” is like “John,” and it’s a guy’s name. So I was pretty much ready for a big fight between my husband (who went to the city hall while I was in the maternity ward) and some naming watchdog from the French government. 

As it turned out, my American citizenship saved the day. Since “Jean” is a female name in my country, the French accepted it without a problem! Drama avoided.

As for our son, Orphée, we threw them another American classic for the middle name: John. But that’s a pretty well-known name, so again, drama avoided.

Now, the only naming I’ll be doing is the naming of the characters in my books. And with that, I don’t have to worry about the French government getting involved…

No comments:

Post a Comment