whose middle name is a typo

I’ve told this story several times before.

Only I haven’t really talked about some of it.

When I was born, my name was a placeholder.

Long story short, it was my mom’s turn to pick, she was certain she was going to have a girl and that girl was going to be named Mary. Nothing was planned for the event that I would be a girl.

I wasn’t a girl, and the hospital inexplicably let my 14-year-old sister pick my name due to a lack of parental units who could decide. She went with my father’s middle name for my first name and our paternal grandfather’s middle name for my middle name.

Only it wasn’t quite right.

As some of you know, my middle name currently is Devon.

It should be Deon.

As some of you know, my middle name had a capital V once upon a time because the nurse either didn’t verify with Theresa or she thought that was Grandpa Robinson’s middle name. I knew it was wrong — my mother, who often isn’t clear, wasn’t clear when she told me when I was younger the story of how my first name was a placeholder and my middle name was wrong.

In retrospect, I should have asked for clarification, and obviously, didn’t pause for a second to think, “If it was supposed to be ‘Devon,’ wouldn’t they just pronounce it ‘Devon’ anyway?” But, within days of my maternal grandmother’s death, I didn’t want anyone to talk me out of changing my first name to honor my deceased maternal grandparents. So, while I was at it, I eliminated the camel case.

Then my mother said once, “You middle name should have been Deon.”

Renée and I are going to be in our trendy loft for a few years and, at some point, our guest bedroom/office is going to be a nursery. (If we stay in Richmond, I want to move to a certain school zone in the city and/or make our kids study their asses off to get into a Governor’s School. Regardless, I’m not going to be in a two-bedroom, one bath apartment in a converted warehouse with two adults and a high-schooler. But I digress, slightly.) Much like my mom being hell-bent on Mary, I have a son’s full name picked out, and I’ve been hell-bent on it for at least eight years. In the event that there’s no son, I considered fixing the typo for once and for all by changing my middle name to what I want my son’s to be.¹

But then I remembered.

Theresa gave me that incorrect name, and I made it more incorrect. We both made contributions to those five letters that should have been four. Although it’s a typo, it’s our typo.

I have my mother’s side in the front, my father’s in the back and my Theresa and I are in the middle.


¹Of course his name will sound pretentious. Do you not know me? I would mention it now, but I don’t want people to start reviving that name before he is born his birth. He’ll have a unique name by having one that doesn’t have superfluous letters or nontraditional spellings. It’s fantastic. And, yes, this entry has a footnote. I’m surprised it’s taken this long, but typically, I just insert stuff like this in-text set ragged left.

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