On Tuesday, Dec 28 my lovely wife Julie gave birth to our third son. After some dithering back and forth (we’re methodical about baby names) we picked Gregory. Everyone is happy and healthy. Vital stats: 20 inches, 7 pounds 9 oz. The brothers are adjusting well, though Theo’s first response to my phone call telling him it was a boy was “oh no, another one of those.”
That’s 5yo Francis (aka “little big brother”) and 7yo Theo (“big big brother”) meeting their new sibling at the hospital. More pics in the Gregory! and Gregory in the Hospital sets on Flickr.
As I mentioned, we’re methodical about names. When we were faced with Baby #2 I put together the “Fallen Baby Names Chart” – classic names that had fallen out of trendy use. It’s based on the current ranking of the top names of 1900. “Gregory” doesn’t appear on our chart because it was almost unused until a sudden appearance in the mid-1940s (see chart, right). Yes, that would be the time when a handsome young actor named Gregory Peck became famous. It peaked in 1962, the year of Peck’s Academy Award for To Kill a Mockingbird and has been dropping rapidly ever since. Last year less than one in a thousand newborn boys were Gregory’s. While we recognize Peck’s influence in the name’s Twentieth Century popularity, Julie is thinking more of Gregory of Nyssa [edited, I originally linked to another early Gregory]. Peck’s parents were Catholic (paternal relatives helped lead the Irish Easter Rising) and were presumably thinking of the Catholic saint when they gave him Gregory for a middle name (he dropped his first name Eldred for the movies).