by Eric Boodman
Sept. 29, 2022
It started as a joke. Jen was early in her first pregnancy, sitting with her husband after lunch. You know those gimmicky websites, he was saying, where you can name a star after someone and the person gets a certificate in the mail? What if, instead, we named our child after the biggest planet in the solar system?
He was kidding, but Jen kind of liked it. Jupiter. She liked the sound of it — and how awesome, to share a name with something so huge, encircled by so many moons. She hadn’t imagined herself as a mom. When they were looking at houses, she’d insisted on a yard for their dog; she hadn’t been thinking about room for kids. But then something in her shifted, and here they were, in their dining room, in a green-lawned Tennessee neighborhood, joking about what to call their first child. Jupiter was a perfect middle name — semi-secret, a nod to this wild gravitational pull.