Before I begin let me be clear: my son's name is Simeon. It's pronounced "sim-E-un."
And I really like my kid's name.
I swear we put a lot of thought into it. I said it over and over again in my head. I doodled it. I checked the initials multiple times (because I'm sure there is someone in the world named Aaron Steven Smith and his parents have to live with that shame forever). We gave Sim a name that has meaning, a name that stands for patience and receiving and faith. But every once in a while something happens and Greg and I will glace at each other, wide-eyed, and I know we're thinking the exact same thing:
Well shoot, did we give our kid a weird name?
Like when the teacher's aid at Sim's school leaned over to Greg and complimented our name choice saying, "I've always LOVED weird names!"
Or the nurse at the doctor's office who told me that my kid's name was "impossible" to pronounce and so she would be calling him "Cinnamon" from now on. And then she did. For the next eight months. People probably thought I had an orange tabby cat in my baby carrier.
Or the countless people who learn my son's name and immediately ask, "Oh-- so like, does that mean something?" Like maybe "Simeon" is the Swahili word for "boy-in-wheelchair" or "four-eyes" or "child-with-hair-of-duck."
Then there are gems like the voicemail we got this week. Provided below for your listening pleasure (name and organization of the caller have been bleeped to protect the innocent):
I seem to have misplaced my daughter. Face. Palm.
In his young life, Simeon has endured being called, Simone, SEA-moan Simon, Sim-e-ON, Cinnamon, and (hang on to your hats) Semen <--- unfortunately, I am not kidding about that last one. Most people just call him "Simon" and get on with it, which is really so darn close, they should probably get a medal for playing it safe and selecting the least inflammatory option.
I comfort myself with the fact that "Simeon" is a relatively common name in Orthodox Christian circles and most Catholics have heard it too. I seriously had no idea that the rest of America would be completely bumfuzzled by our choice. Also, the name is in the Bible (<-- no biggie) so obviously God must like it okay and that's got to count for something (although "Nergal-Sharezer" is a biblical name too, so God has interesting taste).
I mean, come on you guys! It's not like I made the name up myself. It's not like I added punctuation marks willy-nilly ($im'eon looks kind of cool, though...). It's not like it's that hard.
I don't even know anymore.
Look, Dude. I'm sorry. I think we may have (accidentally) given you a weird name. But it has meaning, and we love it, and it's all yours. So own it. Go out there and get down with your weird self.
(whose real name is "Mary Smith" which sounds like an alias so I guess there are worse things than weird)
Now you have to make me feel better. Anyone else have a kid whose name is mispronounced on the regular? Anyone else LOVE their child's name even though you know it's a bit... different? What about YOUR name? Love? Hate?
(Can you tell I'm wrestling with the baby name question for Smith Nugget #2?)