Naming Seneca Bree and Keenan George
Jokes were made prior to the birth of our twins about our selected names. No one knew what they would be, people wanted to guess and question what crazy names we would come up with and what contrarian aspect we would use for naming them. Naming kids has always been enjoyable to me, something that brings excitement to the entire process and is always a crazy time as the parents bounce ideas off one another. In all reality, I always feel like children really “take on” their names. They embody the name and very rarely do I find myself meeting someone and thinking, “Boy, that person should have been named X instead of Y.”
To start, let me provide a little background. My wife’s family is 100% Irish Catholic. Her mom is one of 37 kids and her father is one of 25 kids...well, maybe not that many, but you get the drift. They all have pretty traditional Irish names and rightfully so. My family is a mixed breed, a family with heritage from all over the world. My parents have weird names, Chiyo is my mom (Chee-o) and my father is named Dane as well. My sister is named Kai (K-eye) Fawn, my brother is named Brooks Devin and here I am...Dane. My family has a history of different names and I believe we carried that on with the naming of our first two boys.
When we found out we were pregnant with Lincoln, we had our girls name picked out early. Seneca was the girls name, a cool native name that also happened to be my favorite Roman philosopher as well. "Lincoln" took Caitlin a bit to agree upon. I wanted him to be named after Lincoln McIllravy, Olympic bronze medalist in freestyle wrestling. I kept pushing for this name when finally we took a trip close to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and turned on Lincoln Highway, at that Caitlin looked at me and agreed to Lincoln as the boys name. Then came the pregnancy with Sanderson. We knew Seneca would be the girls name. Again, a powerful woman’s name that embodied native traditions and an excellent philosopher from Roman times! I wanted to keep the wrestling names alive and kept throwing wrestlers and a few shot putters names at Caitlin. She didn’t want anything to do with what I was saying. Finally, THE DAY before Sanderson was born, Lincoln and I were watching Cael Sanderon’s Olympic finals match for about the 100th time. I just blurted out, “What about Sanderson?” She loved it. Who wouldn’t want to be named after an Olympic champ?
Then came the twins pregnancy. We initially decided that we wouldn't find out if this pregnancy was a boy or a girl, but when we found out there was two babies we totally caved at the first ultrasound and asked to know the genders. I confirmed with Caitlin early on that Seneca would be the girls name. We decided on Bree as the middle name, this is Caitlin’s middle name and her great-grandmother’s maiden name. The name has been passed down numerous times through her family, and she was excited to pass on this family name. A great compromise, Seneca would finally be used and we also were able to carry on a family tradition!
What about Keenan? I had a few names I liked. Gable was one name I preferred but when Caitlin informed me that she would call him “Gabe” I immediately decided Gable was not a great name for our family. Lincoln confirmed with me that he believed “Burrough” would be an excellent name, named after Jordan Burroughs, the Olympic champ in wrestling! Caitlin squashed that rather quickly and told me she wasn’t into any more wrestlers names. I jokingly said what about “Renda” after the first PIAA state champ I trained and even went as far as “Gwiz” for the girl and “Dowski” for the boy, after GS athlete and world bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski. Clearly, those names didn’t stick. Finally, I decided to look for some sound Irish names to continue appeasing her family traditions.
I came across Keenan. A strong Irish name that also happened to be the name of one of my favorite comedians (Keenan Ivory Wayans). Irish name with African American influence...let’s do it. Caitlin knew that George was a name I wanted to use to honor my grandfather. I grew up with only one Grandfather, he was and still is the man, he along with my father showed me what it means to be a man and I felt obligated to pay tribute to him! Keenan George was confirmed and now here they are! Strong names makes for strong people and I am extremely excited to start our journey with these two little ones.