is a responsibility. Giving a child a fanciful name like "Peaches" or "Harper Seven" may seem like fun to the parent but is it fair to the child?
I think I may have said elsewhere on this blog that I once knew a man who was christened "Sean". It is a perfectly sensible sort of name and even common in some places. Put with the surname "Lamb" however and it becomes a target for ridicule. Mr Lamb changed his name on reaching his majority - and rightly so. Nobody should have to live with a name they find offensive or which causes them embarrassment.
But most of us live with our names and they tend to shape our personalities as well. It comes as a surprise to find that someone is not who you think they are. I had a great-aunt. Everyone called her "Doll" or "Aunty Doll". She was the unmarried sister who dutifully cared for her parents. It was not until I was in my teens that I discovered she had been christened "Minette". There were members of the family who did not know her actual name until her funeral. Nobody ever called her "Minette". I often wonder how she felt about that.
Someone else I know is called "Margaret" but her father, a lover of Greek legends, called her "Persephone Marguerite". She is now in her 80's and has never been known by her actual name.
We were talking about this recently and she said, "A bit late now. I feel like a Margaret".
When I glance at the "hatched, matched and dispatched" columns in our state newspaper I often wonder at the names people give their children. There are the trendy names which will date people. There are the unusual spellings of those and other names - sometimes out of a desire to make the name a little different and perhaps sometimes out of ignorance - Sean, Shaun, Sheawn, Shawn and Aaron, Aran, Arran, Auron and even Arren. There is Charlie instead of Charles and Jack as a name where it was once a diminutive. Girls fair no better - and indeed sometimes worse than the boys. Isabel gets a wide variety of spellings, some of them quite traditional but others such as Izzabel which are clearly not - and one child was recently named "Izzy". I feel sorry for her - but maybe she will grow into it and like it. There are other people who never grow into their names or are always known by a diminutive.
You do need to grow into your name. I have been Cat for a very long time. I am Cat to most people and I comfortable with that. I feel like a Cat.