my big naming fail

My name is Heather.  My mom swears she had never heard the name before and named me after a song from Brigadoon, but everyone from my generation is named Heather.  Either that or Jennifer, Michelle, or Melissa.  My roommate in college one year was named Heather as well.  People would call our room and ask for Heather!  It drove us crazy so we would just start talking to whoever it was until they realized it was the wrong Heather (kind of awkward with the boyfriends!). Then, when I started working, my counterpart’s name was Heather.  It got very confusing for the doctors that we called on!

So, when I started having kids, I wanted to name them names that not everyone had.  I completely struck out with my first child.  His name is Aidan.  Fail!  Other than the actor Aidan Quinn, I had not heard the name before (wow, i sound like my mom!). But, I guess I was the only one not watching Sex In the City because, thanks in part to an Aidan on that show, it suddenly became an extremely popular name.  In fact it was the # 1 name on the charts the year after my son was born and has been up there ever since.  So, I just go with I’m a trendsetter.  He was Aidan first (not that I’m bitter or anything!)


I did better with my girls names; Kyra and Anya.  We hear their names every once in awhile but they’re not extremely popular.  My other son’s name is Cade which we thought was very uncommon.

But the kids are excited when they meet someone else with their name (except for Aidan because it happens all the time).  My daughter met another Anya last summer who was around her age and they both just stopped and stared at each other giggling like it was the funniest thing they had ever heard!  So, a few weeks ago, when we were on vacation in the Smoky Mountains and I told my son we would be visiting Cade’s Cove, he was overjoyed.  Wow, a whole town named after him!


I figured that it must have been one of the town founder’s last names.  We had wound our way down to the cove on the two lane road that follows the twists and turns of the river flanked by mountains on either side.  The drive was beautiful but we were ready to do some exploring.  So, our first stop was at the small kiosk where a park ranger waited to answer questions and provide maps.


I told him how excited our son was to be there because his name was Cade.  The guard laughed and said he was the 3rd Cade to come through that year!  (What?!  Another one of my kids names becoming popular!  I give up!). I asked him how the town had got its name and he told me that none of the families living in the Cove had the last name of Cade.  They actually think the name came from an Indian chief that once lived in the area.  Chief Cade!


What a great story!  My Cade was so excited.  Chief Cade!  What 6 year old boy doesn’t want to share a name with an Indian chief?  He stood a little taller, puffed out his chest, and ran around yelling “Chief Cade” until his siblings got annoyed and told him to stop.

We spent the day touring Cade’s Cove.  It is a beautiful area and its very easy to see why people settled there.  There is an 11 mile driving loop that allows you to stop at various points of interest and get out and explore.  We loved the original cabins and churches.  Short hikes led us to beautiful waterfalls, mountain views, and secluded meadows.


But, the isolation of the area was felt.  What a different life they led!  It’s hard to even imagine nowadays.  Yet we had a tie to the area.  A boy and an Indian chief with the same name!

6 thoughts on “my big naming fail

  1. Ah, yes! Growing up a Melissa. I understand. I too thought I was giving my kids more unique names but realized I failed. Mackenzie (with a thousand McKaylas, mcKennas, etc). Raegan (we now know at least 2 from church), and Blake (someone named their son that 2 months later). With the twins, I struggled. I almost chose Cade (student ruined it for me with his in class behavior) and I spent months trying to talk my hubby out of Dylan. We finally chose Joel and Garrett. So far I’ve come across only a few but everyone calls them Joel and Jarrett (how dare I not name twins the same letter or rhymes!) it seems we cannot win! Of course, in 15+ years of teaching, I cannot recall having one Heather in class.

  2. I like your kids’ names! I know what you mean about wanting to find unique names, though. My name is Jessica. Boring. I’ve always thought I want to name my kids uniquely someday, but often the names I come up with sound really foreign, like “Akira.” I’m about as white as it gets, and, unless I marry a Japanese man, Akira could be a tough name for my kid to have! Thankfully, I still have a bit more time to figure all that out…

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