Monday, January 08, 2007

What's In A Name?

My name is Sara.
Sara Margaret Trent Smith.
There, now you can find me and stalk me. Enjoy.
Meanwhile, most people spell it wrong anyway by adding the superfluous "h" on the end.
My name is of Hebrew origin/female/means "princess" or "God's princess".
My name finds its roots in the wife of Abraham who gave birth to Isaac in her 90s.
I'll let that Sara keep that particular accomplishment as her own, thank you very much. I have no particular desire to give birth to a nation. If you're unsure of the history there, Abraham and Sara gave birth to Isaac, Isaac was the father of Jacob and Jacob's name was changed by God to Israel from whom the 12 sons became the 12 tribes and the modern nation of Israel. But I digress.
My name is Sara.
When I was a kid, there was not another Sara to be seen on the entire face of the planet Earth. I never went to school with another Sara. In the 1970s when personalized products starting showing up in the stores, it was a miracle to find anything with my name engraved on it. And then again, always with the superfluous "h" on the end.
My middle name is in honor of both my maternal and paternal grandmothers whose middle names are also Margaret. Convenient, no?
My maiden name, Trent, I dropped upon marriage to the Mr. for the ubiquitous Smith. I did not hyphenate because I'm a traditionalist and believe not in maintaining one's former identity but building a new identity as a family. In our case, one family under Smith...
But don't kid yourself, the Trent doesn't just skulk quietly into the night. It goes underground and reveals itself in jaw-lines and attitudes.
I didn't like my name as a kid. Too unusual. What kid wants to lug around a one-of-a-kind moniker? It means weird amongst the elementary school set.
Although we always refer to the Hebrew origins of my name, the secret truth is that there was a model in the 1960s named Sara Thom that my mom was inspired by. There, now you know.
Today I like my name. There are a lot of Sara/Sarahs running around on the planet Earth now, but none pushing 40. Now it's not weird, it's a lovely old-fashioned name. Victorian, they say.
Now Sara is strong, individual, confident and capable. Both in name and in deed. My name feels dignified to me, even if my behavior doesn't always live up to the challenge.
I like names. I love the practice of passing names from generation to generation. I love being "The Smith Family." Those Smiths, The word to bring all four of us to mind. Smith means Dean, Sara, Jay & Mac. It means music and teaching and laughing and loving and teasing and trusting and a million other things.
I like the larger "Trents" too. Liked it so much my older son's middle name is Trent being that there were no Trent boys to carry on the name. Trent means family and tradition and dependable and honest and trust-worthy and love.
Sara Margaret Trent Smith.
I wonder what it will mean when my life is over?
Proverbs 22:1
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.


Margie said...

I can't relate, being that my name is Margie, not "marji" about having a different name, I like it too.

What will your name mean when your gone? love, friendship, being raw, being a great sister. and a million other things that I could think of if i wasn't getting all misty.

Great post.

Pat said...

Shakespeare said, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" meaning it's not what your called, but what you do. You are and will be know for what is inside you, even if you don't have the superflous "H" on the end of your name!

tina fabulous said...

you dont have time for superfluous h's. think of how far behind in life you would be right now just from wasting all those valuable seconds writing an xtra h.
its mind blowing.

Mrs. Mac said...

It like your name. It's way better than being called say, Apple, or Suri, or Hazle. Your parents had decent courtesy to name you after a person, not a fruit or nut.

KayMac said...

I love the name Sara, daughter was going to be a Sarah (w/ the superflous but someone got there ahead of us.

Margie said...

The slim shady song keeps playing in my head ... what my name is, who my name is... slim shady...

Deb said...

Sara, Sara, bo-bara,
Banana-fana fo-fara

Deb said...

....and who is Slim Shady?

...I'm SO out of touch....