A Tender Heart ...OR...What's in a Name?

Parents put a LOT of thought into naming their children. What was once a simple task of picking a biblical name or one of a grandfather, now seems to be a requirement to be as original as you possibly can. That was NOT my goal when naming boys. Nathaniel James just happened to get named when I was in a very literary phase of my life. His name came to me very easily. I don't even know the meaning without looking it up.

Several years later when I was faced with the task of naming another boy child, I was at a loss. I wanted him to have a name with a good meaning and I was partial to Celtic names at that point. I came up with a list of about 5 first and 5 middle names that I liked, but couldn't choose from. I handed the list to my mother and said "Here YOU do it!" That was nine and a half years ago.

So, what did we get? Torin Drake. Torin means chief or tender depending on the source. And Drake, well, that's dragon. You can't possibly begin to imagine how accurate that name has been.

Last week, Torin's friend cut his foot on a piece of glass in our back yard. Torin was devastated! He felt so bad for his friend. I think he cried as much as the injured boy. He was so far beyond sympathy and deep into empathy at that point. While I was cleaning and bandaging the kids foot, it was all I could do not to reach out to my own son and comfort him and reassure him that his buddy would be ok. Torin even gave the boy the dollar he'd found on the ground earlier that afternoon. He would have done ANYTHING to take away the pain.

I tell him all the time that I love his tender heart. But it doesn't always serve him well. He gets his feelings hurt easily. He misses his big brother something fierce! Torin loves with his whole heart. And that heart is very fragile. But would I want a child that is unfeeling, not compassionate, or distant? NO WAY! I'll take my Tender Dragon any day!

Now for the "dragon" part. OY VEY!!! "Mood swing" doesn't even begin to describe! He has a ferocious temper and boy, oh boy can he be stubborn! And my mother passed on the name Aiden because it means firey! 

I think Mister Destructo might have been a better name for him when he goes into a fury! But it generally doesn't take him long to calm down, apologize for his behavior and return to his tender sweetness. THANK GOODNESS!!!

So I have to wonder, did his name determine his character? Or did mom and I just happen to do one heck of an accurate job picking his name?

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