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Monday, 12 July 2010

Mixed up Baby

I loved growing up with a Mexican mother and English father and feel very Mexican- but having lived in London for all my life I can't help but feel more British! We used to go to Mexico every year and it was crazy. Two weeks of full-on family time with our hundreds of cousins made us want to stay there forever as it was such fun. Now, with my new family of my own, I want to bring up my children with British and Mexican culture - (hubby can instill the French side) and hopefully workout the challenges that a trilingual family may face!
My most recent freelance project has re-immersed me in my Mexican roots and personally, I've come across some wonderful blogs that I'd like to follow in more detail: from cooking Mexican food in "Abuelita's way", to finding Spanish nursery rhymes, and help to raise a multilingual family. It's made me more adamant not to lose any of my culture and it's comforting to see others in a similar situation. One such blog : Little M's Bilingual Corner asks how multilingual and multicultured families choose names for their children. Ours goes like this:

We didn't know the sex of the baby so tried to think of names for both that would work in English, Spanish and French. For a girl, I wanted something pretty, fun and preferably Mexican (even Aztec!) and for a boy, just something that would WORK! We also wanted to include names already in the family and in the French way, would have THREE first names...  in a way, it was ideal as we could include one name from my family and one from hubby's and come up with an original name for the baby. 

We'd tell our families the lists of names we thought of to gauge reactions and they would happily suggest some alternatives. It was a lot of fun - and we had a top 5 for each sex, though I didn't feel comfortable naming the baby without even seeing it! So, we waited to name it after it popped out. Names included: Cossima, Constantina, Zaza, Margarita, Zeltzin for Girls and Ernest/o, Gaston, Zoltan, Jimmy, Leon for boys. (Yeah looking back now some are a bit weird... but I still love them!)

When he was born and I saw his little face, his name wasn't the first thing I was thinking about but after half an hour or so, we decided on LEON! In French it would be Léon (LAY-on) and in Spanish León (Leh-ON). In English it's more Lee-on and in the days to follow I realised I didn't like how it sounded out of my mouth so I say León.

His middle names are Jorge, which is my Mexican grandfather's name, and Gaston, my husband's great-grandfather- feedback on the British side for this as a first name was always related to the baddie in Disney's Beauty & the Best unsurprisingly but as a middle name it's cool! I like the mix - and although there's not much Britishness going in - he was born here and has a British passport so it kind of balances out. The next two will probably be born in Latin America or France so then we can choose the names accordingly...