Thursday, February 7, 2013


As a teenager I kept a little book where I wrote down potential names for my future children. It never really occurred to me that my future husband might not like those names. Names that had good associations for me, like Ross (long before Friends) reminded him instead of the jerk from high school.

After we married, I kept an eye and ear out for names. I didn't really have many family names I was interested in using, and I didn't want my kids to have the same name as 5 other kids in the class.

I'm a librarian by profession. One day as I sat at my computer cataloging a title, I flipped open the book and saw the dedication page. To Claire and Sam. What lovely, real names. They struck a chord with me. I couldn't get those names out of my head. I needed a Claire and a Sam. But what if I didn't have a girl and a boy?

Later when I got pregnant the first time, I casually threw out Claire as a possible name. Nonchalantly. Just an idea. My husband said, "My grandmother's name was Clara." And I thought, "So's my dad's half-sister. I said CLAIRE." Over time it was settled. If the baby was a girl she'd be Claire. I'd already dreamed she was a girl with red hair, so I knew we were good.

So I got my Claire. But what about Sam?

Later when I got pregnant again, we decided to find out the sex. When they told me it was a boy, I thought "Sam".

Again that nonchalant suggestion. Even throwing out that it was a family name on my side -- temporary, pregnancy induced insanity making me forget that the family Samuel had been an incestuous, kidnapping murderer!

So he was Sam from the moment laying on the ultra sound exam table. Which was a good/bad thing when we nearly lost him. And a really good thing when he was born ridiculously healthy, but 5 weeks premature.

So that's how I got my Claire and Sam. I used to think that was kind of a pathetic story. I named my kids from the dedication page from a book I can't even remember the title or who wrote it. But now I think God was giving me a little message. Some hope that I was going to need down the road.

linking up with Writer's Workshop


  1. It's cool you stuck to your original names. And I can't complain about Claire. ;)

  2. Sweet names. We chose biblical names because, Hebrew sort of went with our last name.

  3. Really, truly, lovely story. I like it. :-)

  4. Claire is my daughter's middle name. I love Claire.

  5. God works in mysterious ways. As long as you got the message, perhaps the messenger(book) doesn't matter?

  6. My list of baby names was okay with my husband....We even used the first boy name for our son's name. And if our daughter had been a boy, she'd have had the second boy name! Since his family tradition is that every boy has the same middle name, I pretty much could pick any first name I wanted, and luckily, my top two picks were two of his favorites.

  7. Claire and Sam are lovely names, I like how you just casually mentioned them :) That probably helped him feel like it was "his" idea, or at least that he had a part in it. Very smooth operating, my friend. I chose this prompt, too, and I am loving reading all of these stories behind the names!!

  8. Really enjoyable story. It certainly seems like it was a message


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