I'm named after the floaty hippy song "Jennifer Juniper" by Donovan. My Mom thought it sounded unique and fresh. It turned out to be neither that year. The Melissas and Jennifers and Michelles of the world understand what it's like to have a single letter behind your name for twelve years of academia. When I entered college I tried out "Jenna" instead of "Jenny" for a semester and it was a horrible catastrophe. I wasn't used to it and so people would chase me down the hall yelling "Jenna!" at the back of my head while I meandered on to my next class. I had to give it up. I'm Jenny, that's the name they gave me.
The last decade I've been "Mom" a name also neither unique or fresh. This time it doesn't bother me at all to be called the same as women all around the world, in every family, all the way forward and back through time. It's a name I'll love forever even when it's howled from the sticky back seat of my car, during heavy traffic. Call it out into a crowd and I along with all the other women who's children are near mine in age, will turn around and look. I am Mom, that's the name I earned.
My first baby had an imaginary friend she used to call on the phone and blame things on. Bombadee broke it, colored on it, cut that doll's hair and ate all the marshmallows. Bombadee did whatever she wanted. It's her garden we played in and her feral laughter we chased all those young summer days with my first baby. It's her name I took when asked to pick a something for the back of my roller derby uniform. It's sometimes shortened to "Bomb" by my skatey sisters and thus never yelled in a crowded public place. Now if you google Bombadee it is my own garden and feral laughter you'll hear. I am Bombadee, that's the name I took.