Monday, February 01, 2010

My Name

We were sitting at the playground, N and I, discussing names. N's belly, beautiful, tight, and round, grows her third baby girl. She suddenly asks me,"What was it like growing up with your name?" My initial reaction was negative. My mind flashed back to all the misspellings and mispronunciations, convincing me that I was either totally weird or most people were stupid. I also remember searching name books to find out what my name meant, in vain. Other people would have cups with their name on it, not me, because my name was never printed on anything.

When I was ten or so I joined a softball team. I decided with my coaches that I would not be called my own name, but Marnie. My parents were disgusted.

I reflect on my childhood frustration with my name, and I realize now that it's gone. I remember when my mom brought home a paper, all about my name, telling me that it meant "of the sea." I thought it was so exotic. And then, at church, one of my Young Women leaders found an alternate meaning, "expression of worship."

Today I share my name with a brilliant 7 year old that I get to teach in primary. As I say the name, I realize that indeed it is beautiful--smooth, bold, yet soft, and indeed exotic. It's a name that connects me to people I never had a chance to meet on this Earth, but will meet later because of the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a derivative of Mary, the name of the mother of the Saviour. Could my parents have chosen a more beautiful name? I think not.

6 comments:

Christine said...

A beautiful, feminine name indeed! I have always known my first daughter would be named Maren. I have two grandmothers who immigrated from Denmark that bare this beautiful, significant name. You are right, it is strong, yet soft and smooth. All of the Maren's I know are filled with courage and faith.

Amberly said...

I did not know you when you didn't like your name. You have always carried your name with grace and confidence, I never questioned whether it fit you. I think it's beautiful and strong and you are indeed both of those things.

Deanna said...

My good friend in high school spelled her name like yours but pronounced it differently. The first time I met you I pronounced your name wrong. You corrected me instantly and I knew you were proud of your name. As you should be. Because it is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this.

Lisa said...

i have always loved your name. little sisters tend to always think big sisters are SO cool!

tenacious d said...

It's a beautiful name. It makes me think of Viking warrioresses. My parents were going to name me Megan, and it took me a long time not to be disappointed that they didn't. I ask you, who thinks a newborn looks more like a Diane than a Megan? (Maybe I still harbor some disappointment.)

Prairie Smoke said...

Before you were born, I looked through the genealogy on my mother's side. We saw five Marens, one after another. It only made sense that these must have been exceptional women. Why else would these children name their daughters after their mothers?