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Naming Baby After an Old Boyfriend

Guest blogger Kathryn Livingston, author of the essay collection All About Motherhood,  knew you weren’t supposed to name a baby after an old boyfriend.  But she couldn’t resist.

My first two babies—both boys—were easy enough to name, and my husband and I agreed that the names Aaron and Sam were perfect.  But our third boy was harder, especially since I’d pretty much settled on Anna or Emma. When it became clear that my baby girl was a boy, we bandied about Jake, Jared, and Sean, but just couldn’t come to a decision.

But then my hubby stunned me by suggesting the name Ben.  He had to be kidding! Didn’t he know how much I’d adored a boy named Ben in college (as well as his name)? I would never have presumed to suggest the name myself, though it was a favorite ever since Ben Cartwright days.

I felt it was my duty to remind him: “Um, Hon, you remember Ben from college? You don’t really want to name our baby after him?” I hinted that the name might stir some romantic ghosts, but Mitch just shrugged and pointed out that I didn’t marry the guy. In fact, my husband seemed so levelheaded about the whole thing that I figured I’d just go with the flow.

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