Friday, December 9, 2011

Being Marin

Dear Marin,
You're here! I can't believe it! We've been waiting for what seems like forever to get the news of your arrival. Imagine my surprise when your dad called me tonight to tell me your name. I am so very honored to share a name with you, little one. Your mom and dad are two of the most wonderful, amazing people I know. What a blessed little girl you are to have the honor of being raised by these two.

Since we share a name, I feel like I should impart some sort of wisdom to you, so here it goes. The origins of our name are a little sketchy. My dad told me it came from a French poet, but no poem has ever been shown to me to confirm that this is true. I do know that our name means "of the sea" in French, so perhaps our French heritage is true after all. For a long time I thought I was named after the Seattle Mariners since they were "born" the same year I was, but my parents insist this isn't the case.

Over the years you'll have all kinds of people call you all kinds of things. A name like Marin isn't all that common and people have all sorts of trouble figuring out how to say it. The three most common mistakes are as follows:
1. Pronouncing it with an 'ah' sound, as in 'Mahrin'. This is probably the one I get the most.
2. If you encounter people familiar in anyway with the Bay Area, they'll want to pronounce it maRIN, as in Marin County.
3. Sometimes when people are reading or writing your name, their brains will insert a 't' in between the 'r' and 'i', changing your name and your gender with one little consonant. 9th grade year book? Yeah, I'm Martin Johnson.
My best advice about all of these? Don't be afraid to correct people when they get it wrong. Too many times I've let my desire not to embarrass or offend someone stop me from correcting them when they mispronounce our name. I'm #1 to a few people at my son's school. I'm #2 to my next door neighbor. I'm even #3 to a handyman we've employed a couple times on every estimate he writes for us. Take it from me, it's way easier correcting someone up front than having to manage all your different names!

A couple good references for helping people remember how to say your name:
Tell them it's like Karen, but with an 'M'. This is what my mom always told me to say, which naturally drove me crazy. I should have listened to her advice. Trust me, your mom knows best!

If you move to Seattle (fingers crossed!), remember that baseball team I talked about earlier? That's another one to use. It's like Mariners without the ers.

No matter what, be proud of who you are. God made you and He loves you and you are an amazing little girl.
You are Marin.


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