Nothing is more personal or sacred than the act of naming your own child. I know this because I have zero children and boast none of the first-hand experience to make such a statement.
Actually, I know this because various friends who recently became parents have ferociously protected the secrecy of their kids’ names during the pregnancy period. It’s a trend my former editor popularized (among my circle of friends, at least) in order to make sure no one stole the badass names she and her husband thought of for their two kids.
It was a clandestine operation that added intrigue to a guessing game that everyone loves to play. And the privacy undoubtedly added a touch of pride in their kid’s name. The more you protect something, the more you treasure it. Just ask Gollum.
I’m not that interested in secrecy, though. I named my unborn child about a quarter century ago, and I intend to share that name with you today — if only to get the inevitable mockery out of the way.
Some parents want their kids to have a “strong” name, something that gives a kid confidence in who they are, something like Jack or Faith.
Others name children after their own parents or siblings (or themselves) in order to pay homage to their loved ones. Example: William J. Peabody VIII (because the first seven of you were so damn great).
And others go the unique route in an effort to give a kid a name that no one else in history will ever duplicate. The result is usually something horrid like Starshine Glitterbeauty Roberts or Baxter Bluebonanza Boyd.
I don’t subscribe to any of those philosophies. My son will be given a name based purely on my selfish desires.
I want my kid to remind me of greatness every time I say his name. I want a theme song to play every time a teacher calls his name during roll. I want him to be a constant source of entertainment. (Not in the circus-performer sense, but in a way that makes me think he could, in thrilling-yet-humorous fashion, thwart Hitler’s goal of world domination using a whip, a wicked right hook and a keen sense of history.)
So when Indiana Jones Hansen is brought into this world — whenever that day arrives — my life will become infinitely more enjoyable. We’ll call him Indy for short, and he’ll leave the maternity ward with eight girlfriends and a world-class suntan.
If you’re looking for a more defensible reason to name a child Indiana Jones, then consider the fact that the boy will need a good role model. And no one is a better example of a man than Indiana Effing Jones. I won’t pretend that I can outperform him in that role because the movie trilogy serves as indisputable proof that I cannot.
The most surprising element of this scenario is that my wife is fully on board with the name. I mentioned it about a decade ago when we started dating and she brushed it off, certain that it was a joke. In reality, it was always a pipe dream. It stood no chance against the popular Coopers and Aidens of the day.
I persisted, though, and always included it at the top of my wish list. Now she’s sold. Deep down she probably wishes her name were Indiana, too. And that probably makes me love her even more.
You might feel inclined to mock this name selection and taunt my unborn son. Keep in mind, however, that the last person who thought he could get the better of Indiana Jones met a not-so-happy end.
Choose wisely, my friends. I know I have.