the name game

we've had a name picked out for the girl for a long time. in fact, it's the name my parents were going to use for me, and it's the name we were going to use for the boy if he was a girl. it's a name we're very much set on, and we love it, because it works in english and japanese, is unique enough but not totally out there, and has a relevant story behind it (which i'll talk about in another post).

now comes the hard part: what to do about her middle and last names. JR's family is jewish so they use the baby's deceased great-grandparents' names as middle names. hence, the boy's middle name is JR's paternal grandpa's name (which, luckily enough, had a japanese equivalent). now, we could use JR's paternal grandma's name as the girl's middle name. but JR has two younger siblings and three cousins who could also potentially use the name for their future children. i personally don't think we need to feel obligated to use the name just because we're the first to have kids. granted, the name goes pretty well with the girl's first name, but i'd like to honor my heritage as well. you know, to make it fair. after all, she's my kid too.

so i had an idea. JR, of course, shot it down and said it was crazy. but hear me out, folks. what if we used JR's last name as her middle name, and then used my last name (i kept my maiden name)? the girls in the family would have the same last name and the boys would have the same last name. but just so people wouldn't get too confused, the girl would still have the identifying mark of her father's last name as her middle name. and i would have the joy of having a child with my name. and, who knows, when she gets married she may choose to keep her maiden name and allow my last name to be used for at least another generation. that would mean something to me, especially since my biological father lost his only son and wouldn't have anyone else to continue the family name. it's an idea, don't you think?


allison said...

I *love* the idea,Yucaree! If I have another baby (and that's a big IF right now in my life) and if she's a girl, I would consider that as well. Part of the reason I kept my maiden name was to avoid the whole "Now I'm part of someone else's family" implication. I much prefer the idea of families being joined equally through marriage, rather than daughters being co-opted by their husband's family. So why would I do that to my children (name them into one family over the other)? Since my in-laws refused a joint last name, I'd love for my daughter to have my last name, just as my husband's family got their name on our son. And I say it's bologna that the kids would grow up confused about their identity if they have two different last names.

But if moderation is in order (I know how old habits and traditions die hard), how about a compromise - the girl at least getting a joint last name?

hobokener said...

Oy, don't give my wife any ideas.

So I'm totally totally in support of having female last names carried on - I'm happy my wife kept hers, and we're going to use her last name as the middle name for our little one. Maybe you could think about that as a compromise where you name and heritage carries on, but the kids' family name stays the same.

Here's the one problem with your plan - people are going to assume that the boy and the girl are half brother and half sister if they have different last names and that you or JR were married before and brought one of the kids into the marriage. Not that there's anything wrong with that, just be ready for people to have that assumption going in.

yucaree said...
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yucaree said...

i think guys are more attached to their last names than they'd like to admit, especially when it comes to their offspring. JR also says it's okay to have the girl's middle name be my last name, but that's not a compromise to me; that's almost the same as the status quo.

i realize it'll be confusing to have different last names and people are going to assume various things about our family, but if change is going to happen in the way people view family names (and families in general) then i'm willing to go through that.

non-traditional families are becoming more common and i embrace that, as i think a lot of women are. and i think it's important to show future generations of girls that they have choices. so, *if* we were to go along with my idea and the girl decides later on to change her last name, i'm okay with that. as long as she understands that it's *her* choice.

i know that if we gave the girl my last name it'll cause some "hmms" with my in-laws. to this day -- 6 years after we've been married -- my in-laws don't know how to say or spell my last name!

JR, would you care to share your thoughts? i know you think i'm not qualified to be making these kinds of decisions! hee hee! (long story)

Tracy Lynn said...

Man, that is so fabulous! I'm totally keeping my last name if I ever meet anyone crazy enough to narry.
My family name is actually the name of the man who married my mother and adopted me and my brother, and I love him and his name.
Plus it allows me to pretend I'm Hungarian, since I have as much ethnicity as Wonder bread.

yucaree said...

tracy lynn, it's nice to see you here! thanks for visiting. :)