Before her arrival, they’d spent hours flicking through online lists of names that were hot and those that were not. Gatherings of friends and family were quizzed on their reactions to the current top 5 on the list, both parents to be seen wielding their phones like weapons as they swept through apps which provided a rating system. Afterwards, they compared notes, often with further suggestions to consider. It was exhausting yet exhilarating in its way.
They’d agreed on the importance of getting the name just right, considering both traditional names within their respective families, yet also needing to monitor contemporary trends. For a while there was serious consideration given to the natural world. Should she be named for a season? Or for a weather condition? But after talking through a range of extreme weather events – Hurricane, Tsunami, Cyclone – they agreed that it might be easier to decide on a name if she’d been a boy.
This segued into a sublist of traditional male names that were now considered fair game in a more gender balanced world. They were leaning towards Hunter – spelt Hunta, or perhaps with a silent H on the end, when the baby seemed to decide that enough was enough, and that it was time to weigh into the debate.
After the false starts and then the extended labour, it was only when one of the nurses asked the bewildered looking new father if they had a name in mind for their brand new daughter that he looked blankly down at her perfect face, puckering mouth, the closed eyes and faint dusting of hair. Steve blinked back tears, words forming and evaporating on his lips. He turned to Chelsea, but she seemed as awestruck as he was.
‘We were thinking of Hunta,’ he finally managed.
‘But we might need to think a bit more.’ Chelsea added.
Together they gazed down at their daughter, the endless list of names which had been sorted by the alphabet, by popularity, even by how it could be shortened (for a while they’d been considering double-barrelled first names which could be abbreviated to initials – so on trend) fading into the background. Her name would reveal itself in time.