Namesake

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.

Happy Father’s Day, Tom Senior.
Tom at computer

Father’s Day from the archives:

2014:
On Father’s Day
For the dad who doesn’t need a tie and already has a personalized photo mug

2012:
Happy Father’s Day
DIY Father’s Day wrapping paper

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5 Comments

  1. My brother- and sister-in-law were struggling to come up with a name for there second {a boy}. He wanted some weird crazy names {they had been ballerinas in there hay-days} whereas my sister-in-law wanted to name him after her husband. His name is Toby. When he witnessed the craziness that was the birth of their son, he said, “Hon, name him whatever you want!” So she called him Tobias Junior. We call them both Toby, Tobes and we differientate them by calling them Big Tobes or Little Tobes. I can’t imagine Little Toby not being a Toby!

    We also named our daughter Rosalie off her grandmother {my husband’s mother} whose name is Rosemary. We love her so much and we wanted that connection in our own family unit, so we chose a variation. Have you thought of finding out what Thomas might be in another language or even pronunciation? It actually means “twin” so it’s quite fitting 🙂

    Reply
  2. charity June 20, 2015

    My Dad’s name is Kevin and my Brother is named after him. Growing up when someone would refer to my Dad they would call him Big Kevin, and my brother was Little Kevin. That changed a bit when my brother shot up way taller than my Dad 🙂 To this day, my bro signs his emails Kevin Jr, usually an abbreviation of it.

    Reply
  3. Meredith June 21, 2015

    Mentioned this on your insta I think, or maybe blog post, but I totally love it!! IF we have a second boy one day, we have a strong lean toward Daniel as the name. And Danny said the same thing – would it be egotistical? But I think definitely not! For all the reasons you said. Great post!

    Reply
  4. Katherine A. June 21, 2015

    I just realized my dad is the 2nd son (fourth child) and he has his father’s names. (The first three are named Mary, Joseph, and Christine – very holy). I never thought about it not being the first son b/c my grandpa was Dick and my dad was Ricky. I think Tom and Thomas sound different enough that they are different names.

    Happy Father’s Day to Tom, father of THREE! 🙂

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  5. Kristi June 24, 2015

    Too sweet! Our second’s middle name is my hubby’s first name + son. 🙂 Kinda fun! Thanks so much for sharing at #HomeMattersParty! Hope you’ll stop by again this week. The door opens Friday morning EST (or 9pm Thursday PST). 🙂

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