The Baby Chronicles: “….But Why ‘Jr’?”
Well, it’s time for another entry in the internet’s #1 most read blog about my personal path to fatherhood! So far I’ve covered what an OBGYN office is like for a man, how disgusting old vaginas must be, how badly I would handle a daughter who is having her first period, and how happy I am to see a penis, even if it’s on a tiny monitor. Now that I’ve covered the important stuff, I think the next logical step is to cover the naming process.
My wife and I first decided that giving our child a name was probably the right decision. Most people have names, and we wanted our little boy to fit in. There is “the man with no name,” played by Clint Eastwood in the epic spaghetti western trilogy, but he had to shoot and kill several men to maintain respect among his peers. While I believe that there are plenty of people in the present day who are only good for target practice, I’m not sure that society agrees with me.
My wife and I agreed that if our child was a girl, that she would come up with names, and if it’s a boy, that I would pick names. My wife’s favorite girl name was Olivia Jane Malfitano. Jane is a family name that has been passed down through generations in my wife’s family (my family now too, I love the Wileys), and she just likes the sound of “Olivia” in front of it.
My decision making was much more difficult than it had to be for a boy. For years I was telling my wife that I wanted a Junior, but in the last year I strayed from the idea, in fear of being arrogant or self centered. I’ve come across several families, mostly hispanic for some odd reason, that have multiple sons with the same name as their father. Who the hell wants five Hectors in one house?! It seemed arrogant, and even a little shitty to me, but that’s a matter of opinion, I suppose.
Once we found that I had dodged the estrogen bullet, the wheels began turning, as far as thinking of a name goes. I’m not a fan of anything trendy at all, and names are no different. I’m more a fan of the classics, so I was looking at traditional names. The trendy names that sounded good to me were Maddox and Easton, but they didn’t really fit well with the Malfitano last name. I also liked Elliott, but it didn’t sit too well either. The only thing that I liked was Raymond for a middle name, in honor of the greatest and most influential man I had ever been in the presence of.
A great friend of mine suggested Rocco, and I really liked it. I tossed that name around for about a week, but every time I mentioned it to someone, their initial reaction was a chuckle. Part of being who I am is not giving a flying fuck about what anyone thinks of me. However, I’ll be the first one to admit that this is not a trait that one is born with. It takes a lot of practice to achieve the state of truly not giving a shit, and I don’t want my son to be made fun of right away, due to his name.
Eventually, I settled right back where I started, with Anthony James Malfitano Jr. I ran this by my wife, and she seemed to like it, and was already prepared for that decision. I then asked my mother what she thought. Although my belief is that my child’s name is a decision that is only up to my wife and I to decide, my mother’s opinion is one that I value, when it comes to things like this.
My mom’s initial reaction was a sincere one, “I like Anthony for a first name, but ‘James’? How well do you know James Malfitano?” And that is where the misinterpretation lies, and the plot thickens.
Giving my son my name is a homage to nobody, and there’s meaning to that. I didn’t even know James Malfitano is my uncle, and I haven’t seen my father, who also bears the name Anthony, but with a different middle name, in over 20 years.
In reality, I’m a part of the Brioso family, which is my mother’s maiden name. That’s the family that raised me, and the family that I love eternally. Malfitano is nothing more than a name to me, but Anthony Malfitano is who I am, so I refused to change my name when given the opportunity.
When I really thought about it, my name is the only good thing I have. Anthony James Malfitano always sounded good to me, and rolled off the tongue smoothly. I want my son to have that; a cool, classic sounding name. Hopefully, nobody thinks that it’s a tribute to anyone, because it isn’t. In my eyes, the Malfitano family currently consists of two people, soon to be three. Malfitano is my name, and the Malfitano family is a work in progress. Anthony James Malfitano Jr was always the right choice, I think. It sounds good, and it’s who he will be. He hopefully won’t be a carbon copy of me, but he will be my son. He’ll have my name, but will be his own man, just like his father. I want him to be himself, but aware of where he came from.