I feel somewhat premature in sending this as I am not due until April, and we won't even have a shot at knowing gender until thanksgiving, but we plan on having several children, so it's bound to come up eventually, and I'm feeling surprisingly settled about everything save this last sticking point, which I have made no progress on for months.
My grandmother's name is Hildegard. She is an amazing woman, and ever since my now husband met her, we have joked about naming children after her. Sometime around when we began trying to conceive he made the comment that he was '100% absolutely in favor' of using the name Hildegard.
And I became unsure. It is just so very much of a name. It is so very unapologetically German.
To put it in perspective, our last name is 'Ford'. We would probably pair it with the first name Alice, possible nn Liss/Lissy. Potential sibling names / other names we like include Hazel, Lynn, Nell, Ada, Liam, Tobin and Daniel. The only other Germanic name we've even remotely considered is Clara, and it isn't a huge favorite. Other family names we would consider as honor names for siblings include David, Robert, Jean, Grace and Minona. I look at those lists, and think that while they could use some combinatorial tweaking, they are pretty consistent and a good starting point. But none of them sound anything at all like Hildegard.
On the other hand, all by itself, I like the contrast and rhythm of 'Alice Hildegard Ford' - it's just when compared with potential sibling names that it seems so out of place.
Finally, we live in a fairly rural area, and I somewhat doubt that our children will be exposed to many other international sounding names amongst their schoolmates. This is pretty low on the list of concerns, but I suppose it's still on there.
Neither of us like the concept of multiple middle names, and I do not like Hilde at all, so we're in an all or nothing situation.
Am I worrying too much? Should I just say 'pah, it's an honor name, she can use an initial if she doesn't like it' or is that a lot of Germanic syllables to thunk down on one child alone?
Thank you! I've had a ton of fun reading your blog.
p.s. We think it's very important to ask the honoree in question, as my husband was named after a relative who later admitted to hating his name, but we don't want to ask if we're going to change our minds and not use it, which might account for my eagerness to have it settled.
I would myself say "Pah." I can even see it being fun as an adult to have a very unusual middle name. A similar name in my own family tree is Willemina, and I'm imagining someone saying idly, "What's your middle name?"---and me being able to say "Willemina" instead of "Nicole." THAT would wake them up a bit!
I see what you mean about it not coordinating with other possible honor names, but I think it would seem silly to give up on the idea of honoring someone you and the other parent very much want to honor, and instead honor someone else, just because in a group of siblings the middle names wouldn't coordinate. I'm pretty far up on the spectrum of liking first names to coordinate in sibling groups, and even I don't care much if the middle names coordinate. It's NICE if they do, just because of the pleasing tidiness, but it's not any kind of deal-breaker---and the coordination of them all being honor names is already pleasingly tidy.