No puedes saber quien eres, si no sabes de donde vienes

Choosing a name for your baby is such a process. I am first generation American and my parents called me Maria Ximena, a real tongue twister back in 1982 even in New York City. Yea sure everyone in Latin America is Maria something and down there people call you by both names but here? You have a better shot at winning the lottery. I was tortured my whole life by my name, first of all, no one could pronounce it, the X really throws people off. Then once you explained to everyone that the X makes a J sound, I was called “HeMan” you know the 80’s action figure? Then if you pronounced it with with an S sound I got called “Semen”. My husband’s name is Raul and you would think that wouldn’t be so hard to live with but when you grow up in an Italian/Irish neighborhood it is pretty rough. So as my husband and I are pretty traumatized with our very Spanish names we thought, ok we want to give our kids Spanish names too but something that is “easy” for Americans to pronounce. It was important to us that we kept it real with our kids. Sure we are American but we are no gringos, nor will we ever be. At the end of the day, our last name will always be Perez, my daughter might change it when she gets older and marries but I will NEVER let her forget she was a Perez first. Como dice el dicho “No puedes saber quien eres, si no sabes de donde vienes”. Translation: You cannot know who you are if you do not know where you came from.

With that in mind we made a list of several names but then the problem became how many people did I or my husband know with those names who were awful human beings, were sluts in high school, were ex boyfriends/girlfriends or whatever. Choosing a name became a real process!

For our daughter we finally settled on Adela,  yes Adela NOT Adele. We thought it fit perfectly. I don’t like naming my kids before they enter the world, I wanted to see them and hold them before I decided. The funny thing about Adela is that many Latinos think we call her Adela because we are speaking in Spanish so they assume when spelling her name or when speaking in English they have to refer to her as Adele. It is always something isn’t it?

When I had my son, my husband was so traumatized by my 24 hour labor and 2 hours of pushing that he pretty much told me I could name him whatever the hell I wanted. We had been torn between Xavier and Augustine (yes we like old people names) but I decided on Xavier, which is pronounced Javier and for soccer fans out there, yes, I know there are 2 very famous Spanish soccer players that have this name and pronounce it “Shavee and spell it differently (Xabier). Clearly my past has taught me nothing or I just have amnesia. Well I tell everyone his name is Xavi, and they have zero problem but always write it with a J and his pediatrician calls him Xavier pronounced “Ex-avier” so I have pretty much given up correcting people unless they are people I consider friends etc. I knew when I chose his name there would be confusion but I figured since I liked Xavier the way it was pronounced in English and Spanish it wouldn’t be an issue.

How did you chose your baby’s name?



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *