My Cassiopeia

Naming my baby. Never thought this part of parenthood would be one of the most intimidating. Why? because choosing a child’s name is a lifelong decision. The name I give my little one will be an everlasting part of her identity that she will carry with her from her birth certificate, to school, to her travels and beyond. And that gave a bit of pressure on me. Pressure to get it right, pressure to make sure that she will love it when she gets older, pressure that with her name I will be starting to shape who she’s going to be.

I remember I was named by my father- Jennifer in reference to the “Crown of the Waves” those glorious shimmering reflection of sun lights that touches the waves of the ocean, and everytime he gets a chance he would tell me that, and I would feel how special I am. My name, has sort of become a guiding light for me, in a way it encouraged me to become always a better version of my-yesterday-self.  And perhaps, because of this, I would love to consider the thought that my father gave in naming me, now that it’s my turn to name my first-born.

Should I go for something Biblical? or perhaps a non-traditional name?  Do we name her after a family member? or from a famous person?

It took a lot of contemplation, until I found myself staring blankly up in the sky, looking at the stars,  the constellations, then boom! That’s when I thought about Cassiopeia.

I looked up the meaning. Cassiopeia is a constellation in the northern sky, named after the vain queen Cassiopeia “the Seated Queen” in Greek mythology, the wife of King Cepheus, who boasted about her unraveled beauty. The distinctive ‘W’ shape of Cassiopeia makes her very noticeable among the stars of the northern sky. Cassiopeia was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century Greek astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today [source: Wikipedia].

Cassiopeia was beautiful, and very much noticeable. It didn’t matter how her story ended, I just thought stars are meant to be looked up to and admired, and this is how I hope my daughter would grow up to be, someone who shines and sparkles very prominently.

I contemplated on a possible shorter name, and came up with a simpler version- Cassey.

They say you are not supposed to tell a soul the name until after the baby is born. And true enough, once they knew, I’ve had a few people talking me out of the name.

Her Grandmother for one, wanted to name her ‘Hunter’ to honor the little girl she used to take care of. Hunter wasn’t at all a bad name, and I didn’t mind giving her a second name, something that would make sense and sound good when paired with her first name Cassey.

Now she’s not just a queen, she’s my Cassiopeia Hunter, or a constellation hunter at that. Queen or Hunter, either way, she will shine brightly, and I’m gonna make sure of that.

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Hello there, I'm Jennie!

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