January 16, 2012

A Smith By Any Other Name

As I'm getting more invested in this journaling or blog, it's interesting to me that I spend so much time thinking of us all as Smith's. I've only been a Smith for three and a half of my thirty-three years and it has taken me some time (and probably a baby) to really connect to it.

My maiden name is far less common and I was somewhat conflicted about becoming a Smith for the simple reason that it's just so simple. The many incredible and strong women in my own family were not shy about letting me know they thought I should keep my own name. Their point was that it's an antiquated custom and that I am my own person and shouldn't change my name for anyone. I still chose to take the Smith amongst some very loud opposition. For me the whole appeal of a marriage was to participate in a series of traditions. Obviously I was deeply in love so I don't mean the relationship was about a tradition, just the act of marrying. I'm not very religious, I don't care much about the piece of paper, what appealed to me most was the ritual and part of that ritual in my culture is changing that last name.

june 28, 2008

Maybe it's because my own parents were hippies and took vows in a castle in Ireland officiated by a priestess, exchanging tiger-claw necklaces in lieu of rings. It sounds magical and it probably was, but when I decided to get married I had this yearning for more structure and tradition to connect to whatever it is that my mother was probably rebelling against.

I truly don't feel any less independent without my maiden name. I know changing your name is becoming less common, at least in this part of the country. Most of my friends haven't taken their husbands names and it works for them. For me though I'm almost always happy with my choice to make the switch, and in a weird way, it does make me feel like more of a family that we share this name. I know it's stupid, but I do feel it.

So here we are the Smith family, for better or worse.

Being a Smith does have it's challenges. I actually love names and think they tell you something about a person. When Little Smith came along we scratched our heads to find baby names that weren't super crazy but also were individual enough to stand up against such a plain Jane surname. We started talking about it long before we actually planned to have a child and I still collect names I like (mostly girl names!) and run them by Big Smith for the reserves... just in case... cause you never know!

For whatever reason, I do like the anonymity of not using our first names all the time. However for anyone who has been curious enough to read this far, you will now be rewarded with first names of our little clan.

*edited to remove our names, see the footnote.

I have not read Harry Potter (I know!) but I have been told by many people that James and Lilly are Harry's parent's names and no, we did not consider Harry and yes, that was suggested... more than a few times. :)

p.s. As I wrote this Big Smith was in our office trying to figure out the sewing machine I've been struggling with. He's been in there for a loong time. He could not be less interested in sewing. If that's not worth a name change I don't know what is!

*The original version of this post got deleted for a bunch of reasons... mostly just that search engines were bringing up these pictures right away when our names were searched and it was a little awkward picturing every person I casually encounter easily stumbling upon these intimate(ish) thoughts. Sadly the sweet comments were also deleted (boo for not understanding blogger). It is a post that I like though, and actually the one most read by whopping numbers... you guys are curious about our names! I've re-posted it but the names are now gone. Don't worry, I mention them a lot of other places on this blog so if you're super curious check those archives or email me at projectlittlesmith@gmail.com and I'll fill you in!

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