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“Shade heard the eerie whistle in a lull of the wind’s roar.”

Several months ago, I placed a large order for new books for our school’s classroom library. It’s important to have a good selection of quality, attractive books for students to choose from for their independent reading, and twenty-year old yellowing paperback editions of Treasure Island are not going to be read by anyone. The bulk of the books I ordered came in months ago, but every week or so another book comes in that was on back order. One such book came in the mail today. I opened the familiar envelope from Gulliver’s Books in Fairbanks (buy local!), and pulled out the book Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel. I turned it over to read the synopsis on the back and read the first word: Shade. I put on my jacket and immediately walked home to tell Stephanie that I knew the name of our third child.

A couple of kids ago, I asked Stephanie to agree to  a deal regarding baby names: any suggestion I had (or that she had) for a name, no matter how far out there, could not be immediately rejected. I mean, we’re brainstorming here, and the rules of brainstorming say that nothing is rejected. We’re collecting ideas, and at this stage all ideas are valid.

And yet, Stephanie said no to Shade. And I don’t know why. Shade sounds clean and crisp. I like the long hard A sound and the single syllable. It is reminiscent of Cade and Shane, both strong names. I also like the denotation: I love shade. Shade is where I go to escape the harsh sun. Stephanie’s sister Jen also mentioned the hip hop culture connection, and she’s exactly right. We can call him the new Slim Shady. Shady Z in the house? Maybe just Shay-D. Maybe I’m not helping my case here, but Shade it is. What do you think?

I feel like I am writing new posts three times a day. I'm on that long last slog to the finish. Like facing a steep climb at the end of a long hike, I just need to stand here a minute, catch my breath, summon the energy, and move on.   

Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 07:47AM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | Comments4 Comments

Reader Comments (4)

My 2-cents on the subject: lets say it now a few years later, and you happen to be the kid that has this name, and other kids are making fun of you. What would you think of the parent that gave you this name?
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDad
See... I think Albert is the kind of name a kid would get beat up for, or Eugene, or Leslie, or Winston. But Shade? Shade sounds like a guy on an American Eagle catalogue cover. Or a homecoming king. Class president. Voted most likely to succeed. And I'd think my folks were the bomb-diggity if they gave me a name like Shade.
November 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBrian
Uh, no. If you keep pushing it, I may have to leave your name off the birth certificate.
November 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterWife
I don't really know you that much, but if I were you I'd totally agree with Brian on the name Shade, although it sounds rather dorky.
February 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterunknown

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