A happy Father's Day to one and all. On this momentous day where all fathers enjoy a little round of servitude from their children, a random thought popped into my noggin about naming rights; a child's name.
In my family we have very few if any 'juniors' in our lot. There are a couple who share the same first name as their father; two that I can think of off the top of my head, but they by definition are not juniors. I believe for that to be the case they must also have the same middle name. (I think). I think that might be one of the reasons I have never quite understood the need to name someone after yourself.
I noted the other day a commercial that featured Dale Earnhardt Jr. Although he is accomplished in his own right, it is difficult to perform to the standards of ones father, specifically when ones father is considered one of the best race drivers ever. Think about that for a moment. What kind of pressure are you putting on your son who bears your name? Even if successful, that's a difficult legacy to live up to.
And then there is the opposite issue. What happens if ones father is a total and complete train wreck? If that were the case you have now saddled your child with a reminder of his father as a failure for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, others will routinely make the comparison, often behind your back. Not a great way to try and lead your own life.
And I guess in the end, that's what it's all about. The child should be able to lead his own life and not fall beneath the shadow of his father, be it good or bad. I suppose there are always those who want their child to be just like themselves and there is nothing wrong with that. However, that doesn't mean you have to name your child after yourself.
I think the measure of esteem one garners as a father can be expressed if one's son then names his own child after his father. There lies a measure of respect and love and still lets the grandchild live without a shadow.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.