When naming my twins, apparently I should have considered the NFL. I’ll explain.
It has been an exciting week for our Philadelphia-based family, given the Eagle’s Superbowl victory. For days prior to the big win, our five-year-old daughters Eden and Tal overheard lots of discussion about the game. Their preschool teachers even taught them the Eagles fight song, which includes a full spelling of the team name (E-A-G-L-E-S — Eagles!).
But the day of the actual game, Tal became very morose and retreated to her room. When I asked her why she was so sad, she replied, “because ‘Eagles’ starts with E and even has two Es in it; and no Ts!” I knew she felt upset that her sister Eden shared the first letter E with the Eagles and her own name, beginning with a T, had no first letters in common. I gave Tal a hug and tried to soothe her, to no avail. Then I reminded her that the other championship-worthy team in the Superbowl happened to have two Ts and no Es. (I secretly thanked the Universe for making the Patriots the other team this year) That seemed to lift her spirits a bit.
What I didn’t do
What I really wanted to do, however, was to tell her how ridiculous it was to be upset about the spelling of a team’s name. What next, you’re not going to eat certain foods that start with E and only eat foods that start with T? (I shouldn’t give her any ideas) And what’s wrong with the letter E anyway? You should love the letter E and anything else associated with your beloved twin sister! But with my daughters, I find validation is the only way to move them past the funk.
It’s a shame that in the historic Superbowl moment, Tal was so distracted by the spelling of “Eagles” that she missed out on what really mattered: that the Eagles beat the Patriots in one of the best football games in history.
And, as parents, what did my husband and I do wrong here? Should we have considered our home sports teams when coming up with our children’s names? We thought it was enough that their names didn’t rhyme with any curse words. We thought we had done our job when we ensured that their names didn’t mean “whore” or “penis” in a foreign language. We didn’t realize we had to anticipate which sports teams might advance during the course of their childhood!
The point is, as a parent of twins, you never know where the insecurities lie. You will not always know when or over what your children will feel jealous of each other. You just have to be there for them when they bemoan the recurrence of letters in a given word. And you just have to remind yourself that one day, they will be so mature that they will know the difference between things that matter and things that don’t. They will also be so mature that they might not care about what you care about. They might not cheer for your hometown team. They might not even watch the game.
But they won’t cry over team names…
It’s a trade-off, for sure.