Our Names

A recent Post-a-Day writing prompt I find interesting:

What is the story behind your given name?

I’ve actually written about my name before. Briefly, I was named Robin (with an I) after my dad, Robert. In 5th grade, I decided that I didn’t like the “i” and changed it to “y” – Robyn. I legally changed it when I was 17, before I went to college. I like being “Robyn with a Y” or “R – O – B – Y – N”, even if it means I have to spell my name all the time.
I recently noted that Max’s given name is Robert. His parents named him Robert Maxwell. They always intended to call him Max. Robert is not a family name. They thought that “Max” might be too strange a name, and wanted to give him a “normal” or “common” name, just in case  he didn’t like it. Consequently, we can always tell when telemarketers are calling. Oh, and don’t call him Bob. Trust me.
Max basically got to pick Jack’s name. Years ago – 1999, I think – I mentioned that we should consider naming a boy Jack after Max’s grandfather, John. Max said, “Or we could name him John and call him Jack.” To which I replied, “Or we could name him Jack and call him Jack.” When we were actually matched with a boy, Max had a dream that we had a son named Jackson. So, we went with it.
Until about a year ago, Jack was always “Jack” not “Jackson.” Then, on his soccer team last year, there was a Jack who was just “Jack”. So, that kid was “Jack” and our Jack became “Jackson.” He really liked it, and now wants to be called “Jackson” all the time. Because we’ve been calling him “Jack” since before he was born, it’s very hard to remember.
Our baby girl’s name will be Cassandra. It’s spelled that way, but the “a” is long, so it’s pronounced Cas-SAUN-dra. We’ll call her Cassie. Cassandra has been my favorite name since I was 8. There was a little girl named Cassandra on Little House on the Prairie. As luck would have it, Max’s mom’s name is Sandra (short a), so she’ll be named after her grandmother. Just last night, Max and I agreed on a middle name too, but I think that’s another post.
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