What’s in a name?

Holden Brave Christopher Staudinger

What a name. It’s safe to say that our son will need to master the alphabet when it comes to spelling his name. Choosing a name for our little guy proved to be more challenging than we initially thought.

A small issue lied with a Staudinger family tradition. In Chris’ family, the first born son is given his father’s first name as his middle name. So, since Chris’ dad’s name is Michael, Chris’ full name is Christopher Michael Staudinger. We knew that if we had a son, his middle name would need to be Christopher in order to carry on the tradition.

That meant that our son’s middle and last name were already decided and that both ended in -er. All of the names that we loved also ended in -er. Fletcher Christopher Staudinger. October Christopher Staudinger. Sawyer Christopher Staudinger. Each one a mouthful, and yes, those are all names we truly considered. We decided that we would have to settle on a name that didn’t end in -er.

Neither of us can remember exactly how it went down (roles are reversed depending on if it’s Chris or me telling the story) but we can both agree that we were in the car when we decided on Holden’s name. I get to tell you my version since this is my blog.

I had never read Catcher in the Rye before choosing his name. In fact, the first time I had ever heard the name Holden was from Chris. Chris often talks about the hike that he would take with his dad to a place called Holden Village in the North Cascade Mountains. He speaks fondly of his time there (in particular the freshly churned huckleberry ice cream and the bowling alley with pins you had to set up yourself) and truth be told, I’ve always liked the way “Holden” sounds when it rolled off the tip of his tongue. I distinctly remember turning to Chris on a drive home from Oregon and asking him if he liked the name Holden.

He loved it, I loved it, and it stuck.

"Brave like daddy"
“Brave like daddy”

And as for the middle name, I knew I wanted something unique. We decided that two middle names would just have to suffice as I adored the name Brave. I like the fact that if Holden is ever feeling worried, afraid or timid, I can tell him that his “Brave” is literally his middle name. I hope that will bring him at least a little reassurance and courage.


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