Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What's My Name?

I have never really liked my first name, and I would love to change it. The only thing that stops me is my love for my parents. I wouldn't really want my children to change the names we so carefully chose for them, and I wouldn't do that to my mom. Still, it really is a cheerleader name, and I am so very much not a cheerleader. (Nothing against you if you are one. I'm just too much of a klutz.)

I love my maiden name, though. I think it must be something about the Scottish in me that I identify so much with my family name. It was hard to give it up when I got married, even though it's a sort of boring name and my husband's family has a really great last name. I have always been a "Smith." (Nope, not giving out my real name.) I still am. I am learning to be a member of my husband's family, but I will always be a member of my clan, my father's people. It is just part of my culture. I will never be as at home with my in-laws as I am with my family.

Perhaps that is why this conversation with Calvin from this morning has stuck with me all day.

"Mommy, what name did you get?"

"Do you mean what did Nana name me when I was born? (Insert full maiden name here.) But when I married your daddy my name became (insert married name here)."

"And when you married me your name became Mommy?"

Well, sort of. He almost got it right, except for the marrying part. But it made me think. Who am I these days? I do often feel like my whole identity is wrapped up in being "Mommy." Even when it isn't, we are so close to my in-laws that it is wrapped up in being a part of that family. I love my boys. I love my in-laws. But part of me misses being a "Smith." I need to get home more often to remember who I am. My identity is not lost in that mountain landscape. I am my own person, but my identity is anchored there. Will you help me to save it?

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