I must bind your identity to a name. How can I decide so early what to call you? How can I know what will befit you?

In a way I am eager to stamp your mind with a symbol, my symbol, my taste . . . and the rest of me dreads tying you to this world with a word. A word designed to encompass all that you are, all that you will ever be. How can I know if you are growing to fit my label if the label has always been taken to mean "You"? It's such a big decision and you can't even make it yourself.

I must come up with the perfect name. One that will be perfect no matter who you become. I must pick a name that will sound official on important papers. I must choose one that fits a child, a young adult, and a grown woman. I must decide on one that sounds good in a poem.

It must be one you will like.

You are everything, and with a symbol I must identify you.

Names should be ever-changing, like scents; baby powder one year, perfume another, changing to fit your taste, your life. I pray you will forgive me if you don't approve of my choice. Your name will be called by your teachers in school and you will answer with a raised hand and think nothing of it . . . a man will whisper your name in intimate moments and you will accept it as proper and reply . . . songs and stories may be written of you using this combination of sounds to mean "You," and it is all anyone will know of you someday. . . .

How is it that anyone can name a child? Such responsibility!

Long after I am gone you will still speak my choice . . . answering the question "Who are you?" with "My name is. . . . "