Saturday, August 20, 2011


As if my children have not endured enough changes this past year, I've decided to change my name back. You'd think that wouldn't be a big deal, but I've had quite the task to give them all assurance that regardless of my last name, I will still be their mom. Biology lessons on where babies come from only half appease them. Examples of other divorced moms with maiden names retaken barely phase them. Shakespeare with his "a rose by any other name..." has not impressed them. But I've worked and talked and explained my way into halfhearted permission. Finally!

What's interesting to me is the lengths at which one is required to go to just to have legal permission to reclaim a name. If I had the issue addressed in the divorce decree, it would have been said and done. I wasn't informed very well on that matter and opted to not have it addressed at the time. As my birthday approached (and is quite near) I got the idealistic notion that my gift to myself would be that I would retake my birth name. To accomplish this, I've had to refile a petition with the court; which irritatingly enough was as expensive as filing for divorce, as well as run a four week long advertisement in a local paper that I am filing this petition. For what purpose? For someone to protest? For my ex husband to complain? WT...? I digress....

This past Friday was the end of that four week period. Next I am to show proof of the advertisement's running to the court and wait to be assigned a date before the judge. So that he can finally drop his gavel and grant me permission to become... me. It should seem of no consequence, I suppose; just a legal step but somehow in a metaphysical sense I feel that another layer is peeling back in a very real way in this long journey of reclaiming myself.

I do not wish to live out my days signing my name as someone I am not. Knowing that soon I will hear a legal proclamation and permission to change gives me even more of a feeling of autonomy than the divorce decree itself.

As I continue to nurture, care-take and, yes, FUSS AT my children surely they will have no doubt -- yep, regardless, that's Mom.