Thalia and Sage wake up this morning and toddle in together to the living room where I was already awake and working.
The first words out of Thalia’s mouth, even before good morning, are that from now, on her name is going to be Joanna.
“Oh is that so?” I ask.
“I was tired of Sage always yelling HALLLL-YAAAAA and so I’m now Joanna. Also because of this necklace. This pretty necklace with beads. It’s in a pattern and people who have this pattern are named Joanna. And Sage wants to call me Joanna.”
“And what about you Sage? Do you have a new name too?”
She considers it for a minute.
All I could think about was how freaking long Nate and I took picking the name Thalia and how I very nearly left him over the fact that he’d sooner call her Clinton Portis than Tillie for my great-grandmother. Then I think about how we spent so long naming Sage we had to beg the internet for help. (And still, he wanted to name her Clinton Portis.)
My first instinct wasn’t simply to laugh at the nonsensical ramblings of a preschooler, but to feel a little bad that she was rejecting the name we had thoughtfully chosen for her. As if it were a tricycle when what she really wanted was a pony. Or a Dora balloon. Or a rock.
A rock named Joanna.
Suddenly I had a completely new perspective about the time I came home from day camp in second grade and told my mother I wanted to be named Maria.