Friday, January 28, 2011


Last night at the dinner table Tigo was clapping out syllables to all our names. He is learning a little grammar in school and parts of words so that, that is probably what gave the rythmic inspiration. As he went around the table saying everyone's names, he used their legal, official, names. I think he did this, mostly because we almost all have a nick-name that we go by and our birth certificate names have more syllables.

By the time he got to Lola, she cut him off.

"don't call me that"
"but it's your name"
"don't call me that"
"but it's your name"
"Lola is my name, I am not in pain."

When I was growing up, I had numerous conversations like this with my brother. Or on the first day of school with a new teacher, or when there was a substitute. I swore up, down, left, right that I would never ever name my kids one thing and call them another.  As I've gotten older, I have discovered that best way to end up doing something is by swearing under sacred oath that you will never do it.

So anyhow, her name is Dolores. Which means pain in Spanish. Or quite literally more than one pain. Multiple pains. I didn't quite put it together before it became official on her birth certificate. Or maybe I did, and just ignored it. It's definitely a practice that needs to occur with every pregnant family when deciding on name options for their unborn child. The practice of determining the side effects or potential name-calling tactics by school mates on certain chosen names.

How can the name be changed to be made fun or to become annoying.

Lola was named after her grandmothers. First name Dolores after her paternal grandmother and Lynne, the middle name, after her maternal grandmother. Lynne was a middle name and I wanted to keep it that way. I also never ever had intented (though never publicly denounce or stated that I wouldn't) use Dolores, that she would always be Lola. Lola Lynne.  Maybe a country music star one day. Probably not if she has my singing genes, at least.

Dolores is also the name of Elmer's hometown.  Grandmother, hometown, old school classic name. No doubt it had meaning and it was meant to be.  Now she states she wants to change her name. The same way that I wanted to change my name from legal name of 4 generations of legacy to something different than what it was, is. Something known.

Now, I can often look back and determine how well I know a person, by what they know of my name. If they know my full name, they likely have known me for a long time, or they are a cold caller trying to sell me something.

It seems when you know the history behind how things, or a person, got their name, how they came to be you know them much better. A secret, that is not really a secret, just something that doesn't necessarily need to be talk about.

When I finally turned 18, I had no intention of changing my name. I still regularly struggle with trying to figure out the best name to use at the doctor's office or signing papers for my kids. Quite honestly it took me a long time and a bit of emotional turmoil to change my name after I got married.

Only time will tell whether Lola will still want to change her name when she is 18. Whether the importance of history is more important or the ease of removing some pain overrides.

She will always be Lola to me though.

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