Let’s talk about names! I have been sewing for Audrey and Bear for almost 4 years now, and you can imagine the variety of names I have seen come through production. My team and I love to pause and share the unique, nickname, middle, or sibling name combinations we come across. We LOVE seeing your creativity!
When I became pregnant with my son, choosing his name became a very deliberate process for my husband and me. In our home, we focus on honoring both our Black and Diné(Navajo) heritage. It was important that his name reflect that. Diné is a spoken language, and we wanted a name that, when called, would honor just a little more of my husband’s beautiful culture and history. Personally, I also enjoyed the versatility of having a nickname growing up. The moment I hear “Hey Mandy” from a loved one, I feel such a different level of kinship and trust.
Honor. Culture. Versatility. Kinship. Could one name really do it all? Was I asking too much? And could I really put that on a blanket? And a hat? With a matching robe?
He was born on a cloudy day and was a breath of calm air to us at the beginning of what became a tumultuous year.
Named Hatatłi: singer- a Diné word used to describe medicine men, who often sing during ceremony. This is also a nod towards my own father, his medical achievements and gifts of healing, who passed away only a few weeks later.
We also lovingly call him Tali.
Because of the significance of my son’s name, we speak it as much as possible! It is not very easy to pronounce if you do not speak the language, and it takes a couple of extra repeats on the playground or with new friends. However, we hope one day that he will be proud of his name and his strong heritage! That he will say his name clearly and loudly when a teacher tries to pronounce it. And that later he’ll remember how known and loved he is when he hears me on the phone saying “Hey Tali”.
These days our almost-two-year-old is just beginning to articulate his own name. And what can’t this toddler sleep without? His forest green Minky blanket that we were able to customize in Diné - something to remind him where he came from, to help him get to where he’s going.