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.






3 responses to “Benjamin”

  1. Zosma Zack Avatar
    Zosma Zack

    Ben is the name of an even more infamous rat than your family’s pet… as immortalized in the movies Willard and Ben, and even in a song by Michael Jackson. When did the Dalmyn kids adopt the rat? I wonder if his name had any relationship to the movie, Willard (1969) or Ben (early 1970s).

  2. Brave Kelso Avatar
    Brave Kelso

    To the best of my memory, this would have been around 1967-1970. I probably had started high school (1967). I don’t think the movie registered in our consciousness, even through advertising. Joyce did not have a sense of irony when she was nine. It was a nice name. I don’t know if there was any special reason or inspiration.

  3. Randy Reichardt Avatar
    Randy Reichardt

    Congratulations, Great Uncle Tony. Benjamin is a good name. Consider the many ridiculous baby names out there now, such as these names given to Alberta baby boys in 2003, with my comments added from an earlier post: “One boy in Alberta was named Connnor. Yes, there are three “n”s in his name. Another girl was named Lexus-Nykole. Among the baby names for boys, registered in Alberta in 2003: Blade, Boston, Caprice, Chaos, Coletrane (jazz fan?), D. (yes, with the period), Dee-Jay (radio fan?), Dilbert (likes the funnies?), Diesel (likes Vin?), Denzel (obvious), Ebenzer (is that a typo?), Exzavier (wanted to ensure correct pronunciation), Fox and Foxx (one’s parents like Mulder, the other Redd), Freedom (Woodstock outtake), Frost, Genesis (“there must be some misunderstanding…”), H. (will he meet D. someday?), Hillary (this kid will get teased), Houston (will he meet Boston someday?), J.R., Jetli (martial arts fan?), Jonathn (typo?), Journey (did they ever tour with Genesis?), K.C. (also KC), (NOTE: The Ks have many bizarre variations on many names beginning with C), Lucky, Madeleine (he’ll need to team up with Hillary), Man, Maxxam (palindrome), Memphis (ok, geothematic stuff happening here), Neo (Matrix fan?), Oblio (old Nillson fan? “Me and My Arrow…”), Ocean, Osama (er, um…), Ozzy (70s headbanger?), Pure (?), Phoenix (continuing with cities), River (perhaps he’ll be in the same class as Ocean), Shady, Shooter, T. (ok, so maybe D., H., J.R., K.C., and T. will form a rock band called The Initials), Thunder, Tiger, Tolkien (could become friends with J.R.), Trigger (will become friends with Shooter), Wang (there was also a Chung, please, please let them become friends, too!), Xyler (what, Tyler isn’t good enough?), Zyler (ok, you win).