It was my idea to name our third baby after his daddy. And, ugh, that sentence is an example of how confusing it can be to have two people in your family with the same name. Saying “…to name Thomas after Tom” sounds convoluted.
So far we’re calling the baby “Thomas” or more often “baby Thomas.” We also occasionally call him “David,” which isn’t nearly as bad as when David was born and we occasionally called him “Brigham.”
We had a hard time naming Thomas. I really love Tom’s name, but we couldn’t figure out how to use it. We thought about using his middle name — Christopher — but we worried that if we named our son Chris Krieger he might move to the North Pole and we’d only see him when he visited on the night before Christmas.
I floated the idea of Thomas Jr. pretty early on, and we thought about it for a long time. Tom wasn’t convinced. Maybe because this is how I suggested it:
Me: Tom. I have a name idea, and I want you to keep an open mind. Don’t say no immediately.
Tom: What is it?
Me: What do you think about…Thomas. Christopher. Krieger. JUNIOR??
Tom: thinks for a moment…Maybe. What made you think of that?
Me: Well. I couldn’t think of anything else.
I wasn’t sure, Tom wasn’t sure, and so we put it in the “maybe” column. Then we realized it was the only name in the maybe column, and the only other names were squarely in the “NO” column.
We started asking friends and family for their opinion. We happen to have a friend who’s the second-born son, named after his father — we asked him (and his older brother) if it ever seemed weird to them that it was out of order, and they assured us that after years of angst followed by years of therapy, it was mostly a total non-issue. (Then we went home and reminded David that, under primogeniture, he is both first in line for all of our riches, and responsible for keeping this blog updated in perpetuity.)
Eventually we started calling the baby “Thomas” to see how it felt. And it felt right.
We were on the verge of finalizing the decision when Tom asked, “It’s not egotistical, is it? I don’t want my son growing up thinking I named him after me because I think I’m awesome and I want him to be just like me.”
So many of my kids’ best qualities come straight from Tom. Their intelligence and strong opinions, their curly hair, their focus and determination, their unfortunate fashion sense and great taste in music. Their hands and feet that are bizarrely large for their bodies — they get it from Tom. The bald heads and stink faces? That’s from me.
I don’t think Thomas will grow up feeling pressure to be like Tom, but I do hope he is like Tom. In fact, I hope they all grow up to be a lot like their father.
Father’s Day from the archives: