I got pregnant in August 2008, a phase of my life I like to refer to as the “Pre-Twilight years.”
My husband and I didn't find out the sex of our kid, but I was convinced that all of my maternal magic was right and we were having a girl. I don't know how many times I actually said, out loud and everything, “We don't need to worry about having a list of possible boy names -– it's a girl. I just know.”
We called our kid Lentil for a while when he was still in utero, and people joked that the name would stick. These people clearly didn't know me too well, because I had been compiling a list of girl's names (mostly from song titles -– I think I went through every single female name that Bob Dylan has ever sung) since I was 13.
Two weeks before I went into labor, it actually dawned on me that this baby could indeed be a boy. I kind of panicked, and made my husband stay awake for hours into the night, just rattling off boy names ideas. Harrison (after George) was tossed out because my husband thought people would think we were naming our kid after Harrison Ford (which he had no problem with, but he would have preferred that we went with Indiana or Han if that was our chosen route). He shot down Zimmerman (even with the cute nickname Zimm!) because he thought it was a bit much. There were basically my only two ideas for boy names, so that meant my husband then had to list every single boy name he could think of. All of them.
I was pregnant, you guys. I also asked him to watch "Free Willy" with me at least three times a week and hold my hand the whole time so I could cry, but that's an entirely different post.
At some point in the evening, after we were already in bed and hoping he could come up with just one name my hormonal self could kind of like, he said, “What about Jasper?” and I fell in love. Jasper! It sounded so... cranky eighty-year-old British man wearing suspenders and tweed, maybe with a jacket with elbow patches, puttering around his garden. In other words, it was perfect.
We weren't entirely sold on the name until our son was born two months early and actually looked like a cranky old man when he came out. If you've ever given birth or seen a preemie when they're super newborn, you know what I mean. They grow into their babyness, kind of like Benjamin Button. Anyway, the minute we got a good look at him we knew that Jasper would be perfect.
Two weeks after our son was born my husband was working and a teenage girl came in to order some food. Somehow (probably because he was a brand new dad and super stoked) it came up that our son had just been born. The girl asked his name, and when my husband told her, he said her eyes lit up. “Like... Twilight?!?” she asked, all giddy and everything.
Oh hellllll no.
I then proceeded to read all of the books online in four days to understand this guy. I went into damage control mode and asked all of my friends who were crazy over the books and film (at the time only the first was out) how likely it was that everyone was going to constantly associate our kid with the character. I read an in-depth analysis of Jasper and came away with the shaky confidence that most people wouldn't immediately associate his name with the series, and that if they did being named Jasper was way, way better than being named Edward (sorry).
In fact, of all the characters Jasper is the most interesting to me. I like that he's Southern (our son was born in Portland, OR, but my husband and I are from Alabama), and I dig that he got tired of being so violent and became nomadic instead. Cool. I can try to overlook that he's part of one of the most ridiculous franchises in history (HARRY POTTER FOR EVS), I guess.
The fact still stands that our son's name and the year of his birth are going to forever be associated with this red-eyed creation of Stephenie Meyer, and it's something we all have to live with. And I really mean forever, because we all know that Cullens don't die and shit.