Illustration by Kristy Heilenday
My wife and I are expecting our first child in December, an occurrence that adds an entirely new series of tasks to one's to-do list: choosing paint colors, picking out furniture, convincing your wife that your concert posters would look great in the nursery (to ensure the kid stays cool) and, of course, bestowing a name upon a human being. This last task is important because, unlike trying to create a baby, you get only one shot at naming your child.
To that end, we're considering a series of Richmond-esque names, and we've got a few good options on the table. (By the way, "it" is a girl.) As for my concert posters: Look, honey, this kid's nursery is replacing my man cave, and I have nowhere else to put them. Please?
Wells Fargo: Naming the kid after a bank once called Wheat, then Wachovia, and now Wells Fargo, (in the spirit of Richmond's financial history) offers us a pretty-sounding first- and middle-name combination that she could change throughout her life as banking institutions merge.
Esmeralda: Named after the queen who ruled the Virginia capital from 1680 to 1712 and who, despite being beautiful, was known for never dating boys, not once screaming when she was a baby or toddler, and always obeying and respecting her father. At least, that's how the bedtime story would go.
Stonewall: A strong, masculine name, perfect if our girl is born with a full beard.
Franklyn: Named for a street we drive daily, this version would substitute a "y" for the "i" to make it trendy; the child would be granted the option to switch to an "i" once the fad of "y" usage fades in a few years.
Starlite: Named after the Robinson Street bar where the baby was conceived, although it may have been Legend, which would also make a unique name. (Just kidding, Mom!)
Hoplar: Is it weird to name a child after one's favorite local craft beer?
Boka: Same as above, only named after a taco truck.
Grace: The street I lived on when I met the child's mother (as well as the street that's home to an Ethiopian restaurant in which I mysteriously awakened at 2 a.m. this one time).
Belle: An acknowledgement of the isle where we enjoy hiking and swimming, although I wouldn't want to confuse people into thinking the child was named after the female lead in Beauty and the Beast , as my favorite Disney movie was Pocahontas, a film that has a more direct local tie. Say, I think I've just found my top choice.