There are two things that I find myself repeating a lot. One is that Hunter is a girl. When you have two tiny babies that look almost identical and they both have seemingly masculine names, people make the automatic assumption that they are both boys – even when I dress Hunter in pink. On the days when she is wearing a dress, when people ask her name and I tell them, they often get me to repeat is several times. It’s funny – names are so generational. Hunter stands out amongst the throngs of Olivias and Ellas and Sophies. People my age tend to say “great names”. People my mothers age tend to say *long pause* “oh”.
On other occasions when I introduce my twins as Israel and Hunter, people just assume that Israel is the girl. That one surprises me. I only know men named Israel. So now I say “This is my son Israel and my daughter Hunter”. It saves any confusion.
Which brings me to the second thing I find myself saying a lot, which is “I just like them”. That is in response to the “Wow, interesting names, they must have a story behind them” comment. I sometimes explain that I have known for over 15 years that I was going to call my first child Hunter. Turns out that Israel was first by 1 minute, but I like Hunter better for a girl.
Then last weekend I was asked a refreshingly new question. Unfortunately it was one that I couldn’t answer at the time. Rather than the boring old jokes about Israel bombing the left bank, someone at a party asked me if I knew what his name meant. I was embarassed to admit that I didn’t. She told me, and it’s beautiful, even for a non-believer like myself.
I learned that Israel means “Prince of God”.
And Hunter means “Hunter”.