So last Friday was kind of a big day for Edie. As she was playing in the dinosaur bones at the McWane Center, it finally happened. She met another little girl named Edie. In fact, she spelled her name the same and everything. Those of you with common names might not know this, but this is a big deal.
I should know. I spent the first twenty-one years of my life with a very uncommon nickname. It’s very obvious how long I’ve known you by what you call me. If you know me as Leigh, then you met me sometime in the past eleven years, but if you call me “Lei-Lei”, then we go way back.
I never had an experience like Edie did on Friday. I’m not sure I ever met a kid with my name. I certainly don’t remember it if I did. The only other person I know with this name is the actress, Leelee Sobieski. I would meet the occasional Lily, and that was close…but it wasn’t the same.
Edie’s encounter with Edie couldn’t have come at a better time. A couple of weeks ago she had met an older little girl at the library. I’m not sure what transpired between them, but when we got in the car, Edie had decided that her name was weird.
“Why did you name me Edie?” she asked. She spit out the two syllables of her name with disgust.
“Because Daddy and I thought that name fit your personality. It’s fun and cute…and you just don’t meet that many Edies. It fits you, honey. You’re unique like your name.”
“Well, I don’t like it.”
“Well, it could be worse. You could be named Roark.”
I wish I had a great story to tell her about why we named her Edie, but the truth is we just liked that name. We spent my entire pregnancy not being able to agree on a name. Now, I will be the first to brag on my husband and say how awesome he is, but let’s face it. Nobody is perfect. And if I had to name a flaw in my mate, its this: he stinks at naming babies. He is impossible. He throws out the worst ideas and then shoots down all of my good ones. See this post if you don’t believe me.
He wanted to name Edie a letter such as Elle or Em. I thought Elle McKibben sounded to much like Elle Macpherson, and I thought Em McKibben sounded like too many M’s. I wanted to name her Emily for my grandmother. For as long I can remember, my grandmother begged me to name my daughter Emily, her middle name. Ken gave it the big thumbs down. So we were stuck. Then he threw out Dahlia like the flower. That was just a little too out there for me.
And then one morning while I was getting ready for work, it came to me. Fox and Friends was on in the background as I was putting on my make-up. Next up, E.D. Hill interviewing somebody. It was like a light bulb turned on over my head. Emily Dahlia…E.D. It had Emily. It had Dahlia. And it was letters! It had something for everybody!
When I posed it to Ken, he said,”That’s too confusing. If we’re going to call her E.D., then just name her Edie.” And her name was born. Later, we decided to spell it E-D-I-E after Edie Brickell. We wore her CD out listening to it over and over again when we were dating at sixteen, and I liked the memory. So it seemed fitting.
Edie from the McWane Center was named after her grandmother, Edith. Even though my Edie wasn’t named after anyone specific, I like to think that her name means compromise. That it represents her parents working together to come to an agreement. I don’t care what the baby name book says. That’s what her name means to me.