You know, 9 months is a really long time to come up with a baby name. But apparently, not long enough for me.
Because when my daughter was about a month old, I looked down at that sweet, scrunched up face and thought, “This baby is absolutely, definitely not a Presley.” Oh, man. We gave our kid the wrong name.
But I said nothing. I just figured I would get used to it. Presley just needed to grow into her name. Or I needed to grow into it. Or something.
My husband, along with our family and friends, would call her Presley and I would just bristle in silence. Although in all fairness, you really can’t blame them because that was her name. I pretty much just called her “the baby” or sometimes tried out names like Lila or Harper when no one was around.
And then one day, I ever-so-casually mention to my husband, “Hey, what do you think about us changing Presley’s name?”
And he looks at me like I am CRAZY because our daughter is 6 months-old now. But he knew I was crazy when he married me so isn’t this really his fault?
After debating this issue for two MORE months, we finally start calling her a new name when she is 8 months-old. Yes, 8 months-old.
This kind of thing happens to everyone, right?
So that’s how “Presley” became “Summer.”
I totally stole the name Summer from the now-canceled Fox TV show, “The O.C..” Sure, some people name their kids after famous sports stars or silver screen legends, but I personally think characters from cheesy teen dramas are more the way to go.
Unless you’re a newlywed, legally changing a name is not easy in this post 9-11 world. At least not in New York City. They wanted to make sure my child wasn’t a terrorist or perhaps changing her name to try to avoid some kind of prison sentence, debt or IRS investigation. Now I can’t account for every moment when she’s napping but I think she’s led a pretty honest life so far.
It took six visits to civil court to officially change her name to Summer.
On one visit, I sat in the courtroom and each person got up to request his or her name change.
There was Woo Wo who wants to flip things around and change his name to Wo Woo.
There was a transgendered person who wants a more feminine name.
There was an Asian man who wants to change the first names of his 5, 7 and 11 year-old kids so their first names sound more American.
And finally, a woman who wants to change her name but couldn’t tell the Judge whether her middle initial “H” stood for Harriet or Hazel. She simply can’t remember anymore.
And I suddenly realized two things…
1. Being a judge in New York City must be one hell of an entertaining job.
2. And it turns out, I’m not so crazy after all.