(Eric Shansby)

I am on the phone with Nancy Wagner of Salina, Kansas. Nancy is the grandma of a young lady I have just read about in an ad from the Salina Journal that her parents posted on Facebook. The ad congratulates their daughter for graduating from pre school. The little girl looks adorable. Her name is Kharringtyn-McKhynleigh Khaybryn Sparks . She’s 5.

Kharringtyn’s parents were traveling and out
of phone contact, so Grandma agreed to an interview.

Me: So, that’s quite a name!

Nancy: It sure is!

Me: I guess it’s biblical, huh?

Nancy: Nope.

Me: An old family name, then? Like, a favorite aunt?

Nancy: Nope. My daughter made it up. Completely.

Me: What was her underlying philosophy? What universal truths
was she trying to explore?

Nancy: Well, she wanted it to begin with a K-H and have a hyphen.

Me: That’s it?

Nancy: No, it also had to have a Y.

Me: Why did she want these things?

Nancy: No idea.

Me: And all this was okay with Dad?

Nancy: Whatever my daughter wants, she gets. I guess she felt that her own name was a little ordinary. She never told me that, but I guess she felt it. Her name was simple, and she wanted something more for her children. And I guess that’s why she went the other way.

Me: What’s her name?

Nancy: She was Leann Wagner. Now she is Leann Sparks.

Me: Pretty ordinary. Did she at least have an unusual middle name?

Nancy: I’m afraid it’s Sue.

Me: Wow.

Nancy: Yeah. So.

Me: Is Kharringtyn-McKhynleigh’s name pronounced any special way so people don’t mistakenly spell it the dumb ol’ Carrington McKinley?

Nancy: No.

Me: I keep getting khonfused and spelling it different ways and have to look it up.

Nancy: Leann gave the Salina Journal the
right spelling, but they got it wrong and then corrected it. They’d spelled it Kharrington, not Kharringtyn.

Me: Idiots!

Nancy: No. It’s easy to misspell.

Me: I found Kharringtyn’s birth announcement. I see she has a big sister named Khayleigh-Huntyr Madisyn Sparks, who is nine years older. And a brother, Casey Jr., who is nine years older than Khayleigh-Huntyr Madisyn.

Nancy: Yes. Well, eight years.

Me: What’s with all the Y’s?

Nancy: I dunno!

Me: Does it take eight years to think up these names?

Nancy: Ha-ha!

Me: Now I’m feeling inadequate. My kids are Molly and Daniel. I feel I should have done better by them. I mean, are they going to be missing out on things in life?

Nancy: Oh, they’ll be okay.

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