When I named my first son Jack I thought I was so darn clever. It was after one of my husbands favorite golfers, it was easy to spell, it was strong and manly and at the time I truly believed it had not been over used. Boy was I wrong. His given name is actually Edward Jack (yup he is a third) but I never ever planned to use his first name. I grew up with a brother and dad with the same name and it was just confusing. Sure at first my brother was Stevie and my Dad was Steve, but it wasn’t long before my brother in all his pre-teen angst decided HE was to be called STEVE. So phone calls came and we would have to say ‘big Steve or Little Steve?” and the teenage girl on the other end of the phone not understanding I was not referring to his stature but rather the house hierarchy would reply sheepishly ‘why BIG Steve of course!’……eventually I could distinguish from their intermittent giggles who they really wanted to speak with. So from the first moment I instructed all to ignore the name card on his little Tupperware bassinet in the hospital nursery, which read EDWARD. My father actually asked a nurse to bring it to him-and he crossed it out and wrote “BIG JACK” across it. I loved that name and had no doubts about its selection, until…. Until we moved to Chicago 8 weeks later . We lived in a lovely area dotted with numerous churches and schools. And upon one of my first visits to the park- where I met three other mothers with sons with the name Jack, I started to realize the popularity of children's names are not only generational- but they are also geographical. In California the name Jack was kinda retro and hip and FRESH. In Chicago, it was a constantly used family name. And it seemed every other kid I met with had that name or had a sibling with it. I was disappointed. I mean I still loved the name, and still do to this day, but somehow it took its original edge off- and made it seem just a very safe name to choose. After three years we returned to California, where I learned the Jack trend had now spread across America. As I enrolled Jack into his first pre-school I was told I would have to label everything he had with Jack M. so they could differentiate his items form Jack F. and Jack C. in the class. For years when strangers would ask my son his name he would reply with “Jack M”…thinking that was his whole first name with the initial included. When gathered for school functions I would hear myself in conversations saying ‘yes, MY Jack loves that toy’ or ‘My Jack knock that off!’….he was MY Jack. Of course I can not even fathom another name for my Jack. He is so well, Jack-ish…for whatever that means. As I think of it now he is all the things I thought of the name when I chose it so many years ago: retro, hip and most definitely fresh! So I suppose having to share the name with so many of his peers has not affected his name experience. Although he has told me he plans to go by Edward when he becomes a Disneyland Imagineer (his dream)…he thinks the name Edward might fit him better then. It won’t matter to me, because he will always be MY JACK.