Birgitta

Tomorrow is Birgitta. You may well wonder what I mean by that. In Sweden each day has a name, or two, in the calendar, and if that’s your name, then it’s your nameday. You might celebrate a bit, depending on what you’re used to.

These days I tend to forget my own, and most other people’s. Although, some stand out, for various reasons, and tomorrow is one. It’s Birgitta.

I was surrounded by Birgittas as a child. My best friend and closest neighbour was a Birgitta. Everyone seemed to be a Birgitta (pretty much like all the Davids I find myself knowing now).

And you may well wonder why I mention it today, when it’s actually tomorrow. My first Birgitta was born on October 6th. And it’s her nameday the following day. I’d say it’s fairly clear that her mother looked at her new baby daughter and looked at the calendar for the next day and decided that Birgitta would be a good name for her child.

It would make more sense if you picked the name on the actual day of a baby’s birth – assuming the sex is right – and I’m sure people do that too. I was very certain that Son would be born on January 13th (can’t recall why now) and that day was Knut. I knew he couldn’t be a Knut, should he turn out to be a boy, which he did. Not even in Sweden would you have been ready for a Knut back then. Maybe now, when old-fashioned names have come almost full circle. In England he’d have been a [K]nut. And that’s not a good name. Even if we did live close to Knutsford.

Today is Jenny. Nice enough name. But she became a Birgitta. And she’s not the only Birgitta I know, born on October 6th. Must be plenty of mothers – sorry, parents – who have looked one day ahead for inspiration.

Happy 60th Birgitta! And happy nameday tomorrow.

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