As we mull over our short lists, we become attached to the names. They each develop personalities, linked to images of our potential future with different possible children. Even after the winning name is chosen and the baby born, the attachment to the runners-up lingers.
For our daughter, we had winnowed our short list down to a pair of likely contenders, but it wasn’t until she was born and we had a few minutes with her that we settled on Evelyn Violet. Somehow it just seemed like we needed to see her to make sure we’d uncovered her name. My dad likes to say that it isn’t your job to give a baby a name, but to find the name it was already supposed to have.