Names matter. As my favorite professor once told me, “to name a self is to acquire a self.” Names have meaning, and often we hope they describe us well. My name is Abigail, meaning a father’s joy, and boy, do I hope that describes me most days! Picking a name for your child is hard. It feels like you have to pick the perfect name, something that will manifest as true in them. Whether picking a name that means strong, beautiful, joyful, kind, or brave, we hope it comes true.
Recently, I was sitting in on LMNOP, and I noticed that it began with a song. I realized that I had heard it before in another program- it was the name song. Every participant was called out, named, and sung to as their presence was acknowledged. GiGi’s program leaders love to call each participant by name because each participant is so valued!
When we get a Down syndrome diagnosis for our child, fear is sometimes a first response, and that’s okay. We may fear that what we have named our child won’t ring true about them. But I want to tell you that whatever beautifully meaningful name you have given your child is true. Your child is strong, beautiful, joyful, kind, and brave!
Our site coordinator, Katie, named her daughter Zoe. She says that she has never met an unhappy Zoe, and she saw this same sparkle and joy in her little girl! We see it too Zoe! At GiGi’s Playhouse, we want every child and every family to know that your name matters and is meaningful.