What’s In A Name?

What’s in a Name?

Back in my single days, I had a persona that I would use while out with my girlfriends. If anyone approached me that I was not interested in getting to know, I would say that my name was Veronica. It became a signal to my friends that my intuition had red-flagged this guy and that I was unleashing my alter ego to protect us.

Veronica was smart and independent and had no time for your BS. In fact, she once responded to being called a “witch” (I’m trying to keep this post PG) for politely passing on a free drink from a potential suitor by saying that a real “witch” would have taken the drink and then ignored him anyway. Veronica also walked up to a guy she caught making lewd gestures behind her friend’s back and told him to take a hike. Sometimes, just a single preemptive stink eye would successfully keep creeps at a distance.

Baby Veronica – “I see they have paired me with a novice.”

When it came time to name my first daughter, I had my heart set on naming her Veronica. My husband wasn’t on board right away, but seeing as my inner Veronica does what she wants, that was her name. She was born with an “I’m not convinced” expression on her face and zero tolerance for my lack of mothering skills, so I was confident that I had succeeded in creating my Veronica.

Over the next year, she picked up the nickname RaRa and started to reveal her unique personality. The more I got to know my anxious little girl who was quick to cry and weary of new experiences, I couldn’t help but feel like my bubble had burst. It’s not that I wanted her to be a different person, I just wanted her to be confident in the person she was. That’s when I realized that Veronica was never a different persona, she was me being confident in who I was. I was smart. I was independent. And, I definitely didn’t have time for anyone’s BS. My inner Veronica didn’t come out until I was in college. Why should I expect hers to show up in the first few years of her life?

The Real Veronica

As time passes, RaRa has tapped into her inner Veronica more and more. In certain situations, she will introduce herself as Veronica, and it’s like her signal to us that she wants her true self to be seen. In those moments, she is chatty, thoughtful, and dramatic – the real Veronica.

I have learned there is no way to predict or choose who your children will become. All we can do as parents is give them the confidence and freedom to be themselves. They will take care of the rest.

Mandy grew up in Baton Rouge and graduated from LSU with a degree in Anthropology. In an attempt to figure out what do with an Anthropology degree (seriously, what do you do with it?!?), she moved to DC and received a masters degree in Forensic Science at George Washington University. Still at a loss for what she wanted to be when she grew up, Mandy moved to Austin, TX. Over the course of seven years, she built a successful(ish) jewelry design business, met some of her favorite people ever, imported her now husband from Baton Rouge, and made the decision to move back to Baton Rouge to start a family. Since then, Mandy has worked for a jewelry designer, a CPA, and now a financial advisor. And in between, she was a stay at home mom to three feisty, but sweet daughters, two of which are twins. Her girls love to dance and sing just like their mom, and Mandy's dream of a possible girl version of the Hansons or a Judds-like situation is becoming more of a reality every day. In the meantime, she is pouring her creativity into her writing which can be described as honest, funny and little bit snarky, just like Mandy. You can check out more of her musings at Tantrums and Twirls.


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