My husband’s grandmother passed away while I was expecting my sixth child. I knew then that I was in trouble.

My husband, Gedalyah, had loved his Bubbe dearly, but I couldn’t say the same for myself. I found Bubbe tough and intimidating, and I hated the fact that she played favorites. Gedalyah was one of her favorites — he had the fair coloring she preferred among her grandchildren — so he experienced Bubbe as warm and loving, while I, who entered the family as an adult, was put off by the preferential treatment, as well as by Bubbe’s forceful manner. I personally witnessed numerous interactions between her and others in which she trampled on other people’s feelings with her scathing remarks.

My oldest was a girl, and she was followed by four boys, so rightfully I should have wanted my sixth to be a girl. I was loath to name a baby after Bubbe, though, so after she passed away, I found myself wishing for a boy.

But I knew it would be a girl, and I was right. The first words out of Gedalyah’s mouth when she was born were, “We’ll name her Rivka, after Bubbe!” It wasn’t even a discussion.

The baby was born Monday night, and Thursday morning Gedalyah was planning to name her in shul. Wednesday night, I turned to him and said, very tentatively, “I’m not so keen on the name.”

He looked at me in utter astonishment. “What’s wrong with the name Rivka?”

Gedalyah wasn’t the only one who took it for granted that the baby’s name would be Rivka. His entire family was talking about how nice it was that now Bubbe would have a name.

There was no way I could explain to Gedalyah, or his family, why I wasn’t interested in naming after Bubbe. It wasn’t as though there was any other name waiting to be given. Besides, part of me was honest enough to admit that my issues with Bubbe may not have been that serious; it might have been simply a chemistry thing, more related to my perception of her than with reality. Still, another part of me whispered that Bubbe was not someone I wanted my children to take after.

I considered sharing my reservations about the name with Gedalyah, but I couldn’t do that to him. How could I sour his memories of his beloved grandmother? Besides, he’d most likely think I was suffering from postpartum delusions.

I somehow managed to convince him, at the last minute, to add the name “Bracha.” Her two-year-old brother called her Rikki, and the nickname stuck.

When little Rikki was six weeks old, I e-mailed my parents a picture of her, along with the words, “She’s so different from my other kids. I wonder how she’s going to be when she grows up.”

My other kids had all had dark coloring, like me, but Rikki was fair, like Gedalyah. Bubbe would have been proud of her namesake, I often thought to myself, rolling my eyes inwardly. Bubbe’s preference for fair coloring, I knew, came from her Holocaust background: In Nazi-controlled Europe, children with Aryan features were easier to pass off as gentiles. Even so, I considered it hopelessly superficial to favor a child because he had blond hair and blue eyes. (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 695)