Have I Altered an Innocent Boy’s Future?

The babe has a name: Parker Kyle.

But Granny feels out of sorts. If not for Big Mouth (hers), the child might be going through life as Jaxson Kyle instead. Have I changed the fate of a child?

Several months ago, I asked my son and daughter-in-law if they had names picked out.

“Jackson if a boy,” they immediately said. They had a daughter, so they hoped for a boy though, of course, they’d cherish another daughter.

Immediately I piped up, “That’s what Jennifer named her baby.”

Two downcast faces glared at me.

Finally, daughter-in-law says, “I guess that takes care of that.” Son agreed.

They revealed their spelling was with an “x”: Jaxson. “Still use it,” I said, not realizing the enormity of my faux pas until later. Everyone knows how important a name is. It’s all in the name: pick the right name and it could mean success; pick the wrong name….

Jennifer is my niece, who lives in Calgary. Her son Jackson was born a few weeks prior to that conversation. Son and daughter-in-law knew of the birth but obviously not his name.

I loved the name Jaxson, especially the unusual spelling. “Use it,” I continued to insist. “The two kids will hardly ever see each other, if at all. You’re 5,000 kilometres away, and the names are spelled differently. And they have different last names. Who will care?”

My son and his wife cared. Nope, they couldn’t use Jaxson any longer.

Though they mentioned a few girls’ names, they had no definite name picked. And now (thanks to me!) they were stuck without a boy’s name. They rattled off names they’d mulled over, but nothing came close to their fondness for Jaxson.

Baby Boy was born December 30, a scheduled C-section. As with their first child, my son knew the baby’s sex, but daughter-in-law didn’t want to know. Son had been excellent keeping mum about his first child’s sex although I had tricked him into inadvertently dropping the diaper to me a couple of months before Sadie’s birth. (Granny successfully kept her lips zipped.)

Son’s wife may have suspected she carried a boy this time since son revealed the sex to his younger brother, who dropped the diaper to daughter-in-law over lunch after the ultrasound. Of course, second son then back-tracked, joking that it was a joke. She was not impressed. Second son relayed the story to me and, at my insistence, swore to me it was a boy. Since his sense of humour is like mine—odd and not always funny—I couldn’t trust him one hundred percent. Despite that, I immediately purchased several boy outfits.

Son and daughter-in-law had plenty of time to come up with an alternate boy’s name but obviously hadn’t used their time wisely. Poor Baby Boy was just that: “Baby Boy” for eight days.

“I think we have to name him before we leave the hospital,” my son had said a day after the baby’s birth. When they arrived home, the baby was still unnamed. “We have a month,” he told me then.

I felt worse and worse that I had blabbed the name of Jennifer’s baby. But, really, how could I have known they weren’t aware of his name? It wasn’t a secret!

Even Jennifer told them to go ahead with their original choice. “He looks like a Jax,” she had said. Coincidentally, Jennifer had unknowingly “stolen” the middle name of one of Jackson’s recently born cousins for Jackson’s middle name.

I sent my son a text, urging them to keep Jaxson if that’s what they both wanted. I apologized for shooting my mouth and interfering in a child’s future. “Just do what you BOTH want,” I said. I hoped I wasn’t interfering.

My son never replied—until yesterday, when he texted, “Parker wants to know when you’re coming to visit.”

“Great name,” I texted back. “We’ll be up soon. Give him a hug and a kiss from Granny.”




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