And Merry Christmas and all that.
So, I actually gave birth to a human person boy individual 18 days ago. If you were wondering.
Also, we decided to name him Hadrian.
People have asked us, "Why?" So I thought, since I was in the mood, I would write a list of reasons here since there were quite a few (seemed like it to me, at least).
Reasons We Named Our Child Hadrian
- One of the naming category possibilities we both were interested in was Classical history or mythology. Hence, a name of a Roman emperor made it to the list.
- Hadrian was actually one of the five "Good Emperors" of Rome, so that was a plus. Personally, I am a big fan of Marcus Aurelius, one of the other Good Emperors (or maybe even the best emperor), but Marcus seemed too popular a name.
- Relatedly, Hadrian isn't a popular name (aka, in the top 600). This was appealing.
- The historical Hadrian was known for being a traveler - wanting to visit all of the provinces of Rome. The newly born infant Hadrian is similarly a traveler, having been to 10 countries in utero.
- The historical Hadrian was also known for being interested in learning about and respecting all the different cultures within the Roman empire; even adopting their traditions. And, well, I don't know, I guess that meant a lot to us since we've had these years over here in Germany and Denmark. There are a couple big lessons we've learned on this adventure, and one has been how big and diverse the world is, how little we know about it, how you can never assume that just because you've always done something some way does not mean it's the best way, and how we have so much to learn from other cultures.
- Of those ten countries we've been to while he was in utero, a few of the destinations had particular signigance to the historical Hadrian. First, Scotland and northern England with his famous wall. Second, to Rome (obviously) and seeing Hadrian's tomb (Castel Sant'Angelo) and the Pantheon which he reconstructed. And third, our trip to Andalucia where Hadrian was born.
- Hadrian's famous summer villa was named Tivoli. And Tivoli is the name of the great, famous park in Copenhagen and practically a symbol of Denmark itself. Ask any Dane. Serious.
- Hadrian means "Dark." Sure, that's not the nicest meaning on the surface, but I think it's appropriate in a way since our Hadrian was born during the darkest part of the Scandinavian winter. And here, the dark time of the year is also the coziest (hygge) time, so it doesn't have a super negative connotation - actually it has a rather warm, loving kind of feel to it. Go figure.
- It's an H name. I'm partial.
- It's a three-syllable name (that isn't a long name). This was a near-requirement for me since Paul was going to claim the last name. Paul's last name is really short - needed some balance.
- It's not a weird name - as in, like, a name with a completely random spelling or some mash-up like "Tridger" or "Ahliver" or whathaveyou.
- Aaaaaaaaaaaand that's all I can think of.
But you know what? Even with all those reasons, it was still hard to announce it. A name is a big deal - they mean a lot. It was (is) way more stressful than I thought it would be to choose one. I still find myself feeling uncomfortable about naming this kid without his input, still have moments when I consciously call him "baby" or "little one" instead of Hadrian because it still feels weird.
But we had our reasons! And I hope this can be considered a "good name" for a good kid. I promise, little Hade, we really put a lot of time and thought into this!