People always seem to look startled when I call daughter Claire by her middle name. Maybe they are panicked, thinking, "On no! All this time I thought her name was Claire!"
It started eons ago up in Michigan. Our backyard backed up to 5 other neighbors' backyards, and we were most fortunate that some of these neighbors had kids our kids' ages. So there was a lot of neighborhood activity on any given day.
If any of us Moms wanted any of the kids, we could just yell out the door: "Gillian!" "Jocelyn!"
For some reason, when I yelled Claire's name, it always sounded like some shrew was screaming at her hapless kid: "Claaaaaaaaaaire!" No. That didn't sound nice at all. But if I called out "Hilary!", I sounded like the June Cleaver mother that I actually am. It adds a lilt to one's voice! And besides, I LIKE her middle name. I like it as much as I like her first name, so why not enjoy both names?
And that's how it came about. She's Claire, she's Hilary.