My niece Carly, Frank and Jan’s daughter, has delivered her son, Benjamin David, born January 17, 2005. Carly was my parents’ first grandchild and Benjamin is my parents’s first great-grandchild. Congratulations to Carly and her partner Dave. Congratulations to Frank and Jan, the first grandparents in our generations of our respective families, and to mom and dad – great-grandparents. Photo courtesy of great-aunt Teresa, my sister. The proud grandfather is hoping to take grandson on his first deer hunt at about age 4. Or perhaps just skiing in Beaudry Park, hoping to see a deer.
When my generation of Dalmyns were children, we adopted a white rat which had survived being a class pet at St. Ann’s, the Catholic parochial school we attended as a grade school. He was a clean, intelligent, gentle creature, and he lived to a ripe old age for his species. He was adept at escaping from his cage. He liked warmth and company, so he headed for a warm bed. His travels across the floor were silent but he was usually audible as he climbed the stairs to the kids bedrooms. He identified which kids liked him best. I don’t recall if it was Joyce or Teresa who named him Bennie. I don’t think Carly ever heard about this family pet. It wouldn’t have been part of her life’s story.
Naming a child is tricky. We want to give the child a name that will be easy to live with, a name that does not invite comparisons to other people in the family, but often a name that honours someone. We like the sound of names. We like names because of the real or imagined attributes of famous people. Children often want to change or modify their names to assert themselves reflect their sense of self, or to try to be somebody else. I hope the boy likes his name.