To turn over a new leaf. Rebirth. A new day. Resolution. These words and idioms fill our heads and our hearts this time of year as we hope for the promise of an untold future. And as we cast off the worn out shell of last year, we welcome the unknown with resolute determination. Or, maybe not resolute determination but a few well-meaning visits to the gym in January. It is a New Year and some might even say, it is time for a new you. And instead of focusing on a resolution for a healthier lifestyle or a positive yearly mantra, I going to pick a new name for this new year.
Now, there is a side note here that is informing this blog. I am approximately 2 weeks away from welcoming a new child into our family. Naming a child, for my husband and I, is a long process. To name someone is a big deal. Your name inhabits you and you it. For example, George could never be a Jax and Jax could never be a Liam. You are your name. But what if you could change your name, would you?
In Sherman Alexie’s new book “Thunder Boy Jr.” we contemplate this very question. Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his father and although he thinks Thunder Boy is a perfect name for his father, it just doesn’t fit Thunder Boy Jr. And thus we begin our journey with Thunder Boy Jr. as he contemplates names that are more in tune with his unique personality, names like: Mud In His Ears, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, and Full of Wonder. This wonderfully fun book is a great read for this time of year. Vivid illustrations help capture the imagination and offers readers a fun activity in which to participate. What makes you unique and how would you change your name to reflect this special trait? Could this be the year, where instead of Dani, I become Dreams of Sleep. Haha with a newborn on the way and an active two-year-old, yes I will be Dreams of Sleep!