To me, naming a child feels like a huge responsibility. This name must carry him from babyhood, through the indignities of childhood (i.e. possibly carrying a name which rhymes with a funny or offensive word) and from there into adulthood.
Parceled with that, in the Jewish tradition one is expected to name a child after a deceased relative, usually a grandparent. Sometimes the actual name is used, but it's more common to commemorate a grandparent by taking the first letter of their name and then choosing the child's name starting with that same letter.
My husband lost his father three years ago and so it was natural to think of naming our baby after him. Sweet Husband and I came up with a name we both liked. It starts with the letter "L" -- the same letter which started my father-in-laws name. Even the second letter of both names is the same, and both names have only 3 letters! About 6 weeks ago, we told my mother-in-law about our plans for this name and she sounded very pleased. Then, over the weekend, surprise! She spent 45 minutes haranguing my Sweet Husband because we are not going to use the exact name my father-in-law carried. I called the next day to try to soothe her. I suggested that we might, instead, use my father-in-law's name, intact, as a middle name. My mother-in-law yelled, made absurd threats and hung up on me. Then she called MY mother to try to bad-mouth me... Outrageous, I know...
My husband respected his father but is ambivalent about his father's parenting style and the relationship he had with him. My husband does not want to call our son by his father's name.
Ugh. What are we going to name this little guy? I entertain myself by coming up with the most ridiculous options... Buford? Humphrey? Eustace? Dudley? Irving?
Do you have any favorite boys names? I'm open to suggestions! (I'm also open to suggestions for how to deal with a deranged mother-in-law.) Sigh...