My infant son left the hospital as “No Name Dagen.”
“I have to see the baby before I can name it,” my husband had insisted before this child’s birth.
Apparently, it wasn’t “name at first sight,” because we left the hospital without a decision on a name for our baby boy. In fact, it seemed to take days of voiced ideas and rejections before we agreed on Adam John: the first because our second son suggested sharing his middle name, Adam; the second to honor my father, John.
My aptly named son, now 18, expresses his disappointment that I didn’t fall for his father’s suggestion: “Let’s name him ‘Gunther’ and call him ‘Gun’ for short.” (This from a man who proposed to me after asking, “Would you like to see my gun collection?” I should not have been surprised. When he returned from “getting his guns” with a small box in one hand and then got down on one knee to ask me to marry him, I was too afraid to say no — even though the box held a ring, not a miniature weapon.That’s my story, and I’ve stuck with it for nearly 20 years so far.)
But Adam didn’t choose his name — nor, I would purport, has any infant. But we can choose our online identities.
Nearly daily, I get updates on who has decided to follow my blog, and the names of these fellow bloggers intrigue me. Some bloggers are clearly following me to aid their business — with names like “Pharmaceutical Marketing Companies,” “Easy Finance,” and “Bad Credit Instant Loan.” (Forgive me for not quite understanding how following me can help them, especially when their sites seem to be missing when I go looking. Are they trying to sell something?) Others begin following me because I’ve posted on a specific topic — Zumba or yoga or baseball or running or parenting parents or parenting children or teaching or learning or saying goodbye or … or at least their names seem to reflect that and they choose to follow me soon after I’ve posted on a subject.
Some by name seem like logical followers of mine — “Godinterest,” “Iron Buttz” (ha!), “Taking the Mask Off,” “Mount Zion Radio,” “God’s Principle,” “The Happy Lifeaholic,” and many others… although sometimes the name doesn’t reflect the blog content — or at least what the name brings to my mind. Other names make me wonder how they ever stumbled across my blog or why they chose to follow me — you can probably look at the Tagxedo word art above and guess with me.
Some blog names are simply interesting enough to make me want to check them out to see what they are really all about…. These are just a sampling: “Mike’s Boredom” a blog proclaiming “where motivation goes to die.” “Crazy Letters from Grandma,” so far with just a few entries but definitely worth the read. “Dramatic Toothbrush” with its amazing photos and occasional, thought-provoking text. “Modern Jane Jetson” with her eclectic mix of recipes, beauty tips, photography, and written takes on life. “Imodium Abuser” with his hilarious — and frightening — tales of Imodium dependence and his goal to be the face of diarrhea. And heart-touching “Beneath the Smiles” who shares her struggles with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and a host of mental health issues, including cutting.
Because fellow bloggers have chosen to follow me, I’ve visited sites I may have never discovered. Their names are the biggest draw — or sometimes the strongest repellent. I find it interesting, in my perusal through my list of followers, that many are nominal bloggers, bloggers in name only. Those sites are merely the prefabricated WordPress theme left wholly unedited or an error message indicating the site has been deleted. Others have written a few posts or offered a few photos — and then stopped. Numerous others — like me — are committed to contributing to this blogosphere and we regularly publish the offerings of our minds and hearts.
In the Bible, people were named for a reason. If something changed, they got a new name. Simon, for instance, became Peter, which means “rock,” because Jesus told him, “On this rock, I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).
I called my blog “Sound Off” at a friend’s suggestion; the story is on my “About” page. But what’s in a blog name, really? Is it just the hook that draws us in? William Shakespeare declared that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In reality, I may visit a blog because of the name, but it is the content that keeps me reading or returning or makes me click “Follow.”
When I first started considering this post, I was wondering what God would call His blog if He wrote one. What is the name of His online presence? Surely, since He is omnipresent, He is in the blogosphere… Right? Do I visit? Do I keep reading and returning and click “Follow”?
Maybe He is present the same way He was present in the story of the Sheep and the Goats, as told in Matthew 25:31-46: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. … [and] Truly I tell you, whatever you didn’t do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (25:40, 45).
Maybe. I know God cares about names. He has a bunch of them. Unlike my son, Jesus was named before He was born: Emmanuel, God with Us. Actually, he was named before He was conceived: Wonderful. Counselor. Almighty God. The Everlasting Father. The Prince of Peace. He was called many names, including the Word, the Word of God, the Word of Life.
And as a lover of words, I love that He is the Word. I love that He cares about names. I suspect He cares about blog names, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that He cares for the bloggers.
My son, for only a short time called No Name Dagen, simply is Adam John. He (jokingly, I think) tells me he is disappointed we didn’t name him Gunther, nicknamed “Gun,” and I suggest (jokingly, I know) he work out his biceps a bit more and earn his “guns.” When we left the hospital with this 7 pound, 10 ounce baby, we could have called him anything but could agree on nothing. Now Adam John seems to be a perfect fit — even if he has guns. 🙂
Thursday night. Minutes after I published my post, I got an email from my niece, who is spending four months in Chile teaching for the first time of her life. In honor of the occasion, she has begun blogging; she shared her link to her site and it is beautiful! I am so proud (and somewhat jealous). Check out Wanderblonde, and you will see what I mean. I can’t figure out how to follow her, but I have definitely asked…. Yes. New name: Proud Aunt Sara.