This morning my partner and I went in to town with our toddler and baby to register the baby’s birth. We were ridiculously excited about this, but it really is such a lovely thing to do. Our toddler tried to run riot in the registrar’s office and the baby cried but we loved giving the required information and receiving his birth certificate.
The baby is now officially Wilfred Leslie Eoin.
I wanted to name him Wilfred Owen after the war poet. I think he was an amazing poet and it was a tragic loss for him to die shortly before the end of the first world war, as a very young man he had produced poetry way beyond his years. He should have gone on to produce more. Wilfred Owen was born in Shrewsbury and there is a memorial to him there, when I was a teenager my Grandfather and I spent an afternoon walking round the churchyard where the memorial is and I have some beautiful photos (my favourite is completely how I remember Grandad; him standing quietly relighting his pipe). So the name also reminds me of my Grandfather who I loved and respected very much.
We chose the Irish spelling of Owen because my partner has Irish roots and it seemed fitting to recognise that as he is proud of where he has come from. It is also Ian in Scottish and with Scottish parents it just fits.
The Leslie is for my Uncle Les, my Mum’s brother. I had a dream near the end of my pregnancy that we used Leslie as a middle name, when I woke up and told my partner he agreed it was a lovely idea to use it. I love Uncle Les, he’s super and grumpy and funny, he took care of me when I was a sad teenager and he introduced me to bitter and Radio 4. What more could I ask for in an Uncle? We jokingly refer to each other as ‘favourite uncle’ and ‘favourite niece’, he is of course my favourite uncle and I know I am secretly his favourite niece but I don’t let on.
So Wilfred, that is the story of your name, be proud of it. You are named for great and special men and I am sure you will grow to live up to your name. Live your life well and know that I love you with all my heart and I am proud to call you my son.