When we were naming Anna and Luke, we were pretty lucky. We opted to use family names for their first and middle names. Anna was named after her great-grandmother (my father’s mother’s mother). Her middle name is mine and my mother’s middle name – Elizabeth. Easy peasy, we quickly set our first born’s name. When we found out that our second child would be a boy, we tossed around names. We knew that his middle name would be Eugene after Alex’s father who passed away several years ago. Our question was what his first name would be. Alex initially thought that he would like to name our son Alex, but since we were using a different middle name, he wouldn’t have been a junior. We would have had two Alex Parsons in the house and I was worried that it was going to be confusing. One day, Alex told me that his grandfather (Eugene’s father) was named Luke. I loved the name and we both decided that our son would be Luke Eugene. Done and done!
After Luke was born, I was doing our first Christmas card as a family of four (Alex, Lisa, Anna, & Luke) and I realized that we had inadvertently created a bit of a pattern. We each have a four letter name that either starts with an ‘A’ or an ‘L’. And, the ‘A’ and ‘L’ alternate down the line. Heck, our dog is even Lucy. I swear we didn’t plan this out.
When we learned that we would be adding another bambino to the mix, we were perplexed about what to do about the name. Do we stick with family names and say screw you to the pattern? Or stick with the pattern and explain why our third child doesn’t have a family name like her siblings? We are out of family names that are four letters and start with an ‘A’. If we were Alex, Lisa, Anna, Luke, & Charlotte – who was the surprise?!? We opted to save on future therapy bills for our youngest child and stick with a 4 letter ‘A’ name and use two family names as middle names. Best of both worlds, huh?
Once we learned that the baby is a girl, we decided on the name Abby. Well, we Googled ‘4-letter A names for girls’ and worked our way through the short list of names. It actually made picking a name rather easy. Alex and I instantly fell in love with Abby. It just fits. ‘Anna and Abby – the sisters Parsons.’ ‘Anna, Luke, Abby – clean up your rooms!’ It rolls of the tongue. Plus it passes the resume test. ‘Abby Parsons has been named as the next CEO of Apple.’ It is everything we wanted in a name and we absolutely fell in love! For the middle name, we wanted to honor my mother’s side of the family. My great-grandmother (mother’s, father’s mother) was named Rita Rose. She was one heck of a woman and it’s an honor to pass that legacy along. The other interesting piece is that Abby will be the 6th generation of Rita (that I know of) in my family. My great-great-grandmother was Katheryn Rita. Her daughter (my great-grandmother) was Rita Rose. Her daughter (my great-aunt) is Rita Helen. Her niece (my mother) is Rita Elizabeth. Her niece (my cousin) is Rita Marie. And now, we can add Abby Rita Rose to the list. Personally, I think it’s pretty awesome. I love the tradition of family names and passing them along. Plus, with so many amazing women who were named Rita in my family, how can Abby be anything but amazing?!?