[I feel like we’ve been pretty upfront about the name of the wee one (not so much out of fearlessness as our complete inability to keep secrets when we’re excited), but I know I’m still getting asked, so let me lay it all out.]
First, yes, really, Pip. At least, Pip and Pippin are what we plan to call him unless or until he protests otherwise. For the official birth certificate kind of deal, here’s what we’ve got:
Thomas. This was always a given, possibly since before we were married. J wanted to name a son after his brother.
Joseph. When J’s grandfather’s health started failing this summer, we took a look at the names George and Joseph. We ultimately went with Joseph, because it was also the middle name of my favorite grandfather, who passed away when I was in high school. Plus, Jesus’s earthly father is a pretty rad role model for husbands and fathers.
Peregrine. Admittedly, this kind of began as a joke. My first trimester I was such a wreck, and we kept joking about calling the baby Thomas Peregrine and Pip for short, and giving him stern in-utero talks about how he really ought to be nicer to his mother. At the same time, J was rereading The Two Towers to me before bed each night, which reminded us how Pippin is actually a pretty great character: a chronic screwup who laughs at himself and finds endless depths of courage in his little hobbit heart. In Tolkien, it’s Peregrin-no-E, but Peregrine with an E is slightly more common, and also the name of a falcon. It’s related to peregrination, a word that has all kinds of nice shades of meaning — wandering, pilgrimage, wayfarings — that fit with our idea of the Christian life.
We ultimately just reached a point where this felt like his name. It’s a little weird, but it’s his.