My little girl started second grade today. When did I get to this point? How did she and I together make it to elementary school? That first year after she was born seemed so dreadfully long that I never thought about elementary school. When I bought my first house I didn't even know what school district I was in much less what the test scores tell you about a school.

I was in complete denial. Similar to when I found out I was pregnant. Oh no, it was not happening to me. I was still going to work at Warner Bros. eat in the commissary, go to Starbucks and Trader Joes every single day. At eight months I told everyone I worked with that nothing was going to change, nothing. They chuckled, completely under their breath, because in my hormone induce psychosis no one was willing to burst my delusional bubble.

Part of my psychosis while I was pregnant and getting a divorce, was to give my daughter her father's last name. I mean if I was going to go through the humiliation of having my mother as my Lamaze partner, then by God the last name will prove that I was married dammit, not just knocked up by some guy. Like a name makes everything okay.

Fast forward to our life now. My daughter is the ONLY one with her last name, even my ex's mother has a different last name. My various last names are a source of many jokes. Professionally, I have always gone by my maiden name but my passport and license is my ex-husband's last name. I wanted this so Anna and I would have the same name. Easy fix, I started to hyphen it. But then I got remarried and since I am not royalty three last names is a little much. At my company's Christmas party I got an award and the Director named off all three of my last names and said, well whoever you are come on up. Super classy.

Now my daughter wants to change her last name. She wants to be the same as our new family. I don't blame her I would want that too if I didn't know anyone that shared my last name in my immediate family. This year we were going to change it.

Last week during orientation, Anna went to the bulletin board to see who she had for a teacher. She saw that her last name had not change and she got a little teary even though she had the teacher she wanted. I told her I would handle it, thinking it can't be that big of a deal just some white out should work. Uh no. I was told, ever so patiently brusquely that her records would not change, she can "Go-By" her desired last name but nothing will change at the office and she will have to let her teacher know. In addition, she will still have to submit anything for the office using her name that is on record.

All this is fine and good, got it. But then the school receptionist said that her state lunch card will have to be in her legal name not her "Go By" name, and that is when I used The Tone. The Tone that ends all further conversation, The Tone that wins all arguments, The Tone that let's you know I think you are a complete idiot. Using The Tone, I told her that we don't have a state assistance card, we bring our own lunch. Thank you very much. And that all I was trying to do was allow my daughter to have the same last name of everyone else in her family, AS SHE REQUESTED. Not only was this woman suggesting I couldn't afford to buy my daughter lunch she was also confirming, in front of my daughter, that no matter what you call yourself you are still an outsider. I was hot and probably taking all of this too personally. Just sensitive to this I guess.

But this morning when I took her into her new classroom there on her assigned desk was her full name, the name of our new family. She pointed at it and smiled up at me. I hugged her and told her that see it was all taken care of.

Now, not only is my little girl a second grader but she is now has written proof that we are all one family. And I had more proof that The Tone is still effective.
1 Response
  1. Sandra Says:

    I'm so glad you were able to get the name changed, poor kid, I'm sure she feels so much better now :)

    Oh I know about the time flying, mine just went back to school today and my little one started kindergarten.