What’s in a Name

Hello, Willie.

Yesterday, your mother and I found out that you are going to be William Patrick instead of Evelyn Rose. Gina has loved the name Evelyn since she saw The Mummy as a child. It’s the one with Rachel Weisz. Rose is for the character Rose Tyler from Doctor Who, which I am sure you will find out about at some point. I took your mother all the way to London to propose to her on the spot where the TARDIS landed outside Rose’s apartment. I must admit that I am pretty proud of that feat. It may be one of the top five greatest things I’ve pulled off.

You are William Patrick Talbot, which means a whole load of things. You are named after the first two actors to play the Doctor, William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton. We had the great fortune to be able tell some of Pat Troughton’s co-stars about this in person. Wendy Padbury seemed particularly enamored with your mother. You were there with us but you didn’t know it. I do hope that you are able to meet her again when you come out to see the world.

You are also named after two actors who represent my first science fiction love, William Shatner and Patrick Stewart. You’ve been right beside Mr. Shatner although you were comfortably hanging out in your mother’s womb. I’ll show you the photograph when you’re older.

I don’t know how you’ll spell Willie but I’m going with the Willie Nelson spelling for now. Willy seems a bit off to me, but it’s definitely Willie and not Billy. Willie may become William or Will (or even Wil), but Billy turns into Bill, and I don’t feel like you’re a Bill. It’s really up to you, though. Maybe you’ll be Pat.

Talbot has many meanings, depending on who you ask. To the English it’s an extinct breed of dog, but, before that, the French said it was a robber. The Germans, who were the earliest, called it messenger of destruction.

They were warriors, probably, who came across the English Channel during the Norman Invasion. It doesn’t matter, though. That’s only a small fraction of who you are. Once you go back a few generations we’re all cousins. We’re all children of Charlemagne or Genghis Khan. We’re all related, and that’s the important part. Never forget it.

You have two sisters, Coraline and Beatrix, who are both very excited to see you. You can thank Neil Gaiman and Beatrix Potter for their names. Oh, and another English author, Mary Norton, for Bea’s middle name Arrietty, which is from The Borrowers. Cora and Bea love to snuggle Gina and pat her belly. They give you kisses and I know they love you already.

I hope to write you more often, Willie. I’ll do my best to filter out the ridiculousness and keep it to things I actually know (you’ll learn more about this later, I am certain). I really don’t know much, but compared to you, I know everything, so you’re stuck with me for a while, Kiddo.

I love you dearly, and your mother does too. I cannot wait to see your little face. I think of your sisters, and your mother, and you, when things are tough. You give me strength. I’ll repay that by being your Dad. It’s the least I can do.