I remember as people began to meet Archie shortly after his arrival into the world, they would ask Chris and I, why that name? It made me think so many different things, like was it a horrible name? And does a name really have to mean something for you to choose it?
Many people also began to question our decision to not give Archie a middle name – in fact people seem to have such strong opinions on that matter. Having gone my entire life as just Sian, I too have been met with such opposed views to the fact my mam and dad chose not give me a middle name. But I seriously just don’t get it.
Chris has a middle name that he barely uses, my dad has two which he loathes and my mam’s sounds more like a double-barrelled surname than another first name, so it really doesn’t matter how long or short your full title is, surely?
It’s not as if we didn’t think about giving him a middle name. We did. In fact, we very nearly did opt for James after my grandfather. But we started to think of all the nicknames he may grow up with and AJ was simply not one we wanted for him. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, we just wanted a name that couldn’t be shortened, and that was plain, simple and just perfect for us as a family.
We found out we were expecting just before my 22nd birthday and as a surprise, Chris planned a trip away for my birthday weekend. On the way there, we were thinking of names and getting excited as we planned the next chapter of our lives together.
For us, choosing a girl’s name seemed to be easy, there was more than one that we both liked, but a boy was different.
We threw names backwards and forwards the entire journey from Colchester to Bristol, but none seemed to fit. It’s funny that when you’re choosing names for your little one, you begin to realise all the people you don’t like because you can’t get their face out of your mind when you think of that name. Chris was suggesting ones and all I could think of were the bullies in school which I would have hated for our baby to turn out like – not that a name defines a personality, but still it seemed like it at the time.
I casually said Archie in a long list of other names (I’m pretty sure I was about to go through the alphabet just rhyming off names) and Chris stopped me in my tracks. “I like that”, he said. “Me too”, I agreed.
It was the only name we both loved, and instantly we were smitten. It didn’t fully sink in until we were at dinner that night, celebrating my 22 years on the planet when Chris went to the bar to get us some drinks and as he came back he told me to take a look at the waiter’s name tag. Soon enough the waiter brought us our drinks and as he turned to walk away, I caught a glimpse of his name tag. Archie.
I really didn’t expect it but Chris and I both looked at each other and smiled. It just felt so right.
Bristol was the place my granda took my nannie to propose to her and earlier that day, Chris blindfolded me and took me to the exact spot they got engaged to surprise me, as I had no idea where we’d come away to for the weekend. Everything about that day was so special, and so the name was too.
In reality there will always be names we like, we love and in fact, ones we hate too, but that shouldn’t cause us to judge other people’s choices for their children. It’s whatever is right for them and their family, and the opinions of other’s shouldn’t come into it. You never know, there may be a beautiful story behind it too.