Saturday, June 16, 2012

What's in a Name

Before Parker was born I had 90% settled on his name.  I knew I liked Parker and I knew I liked Raymond (after my maternal grandpa).  There was back and forth as to which would be first, if I did want to be one of those parents that screws their child for life because they decided to have their first name be one thing and their middle name be what they go by.  Obviously though, I don't have that big of a problem with it.  Ha.  But the last name was tricky.  I carried him.  I birthed him.  I knew I wanted my last name to be a part of his name.  His father had the same opinions as well.  His father was the last boy of that family name, so you know how that goes.  And I knew I wanted to respect that and I was all in a new Mommy haze where the reality of my failing relationship was beyond my vision, but there was a pulling, a tugging, a longing coming from deep with in (not Parker), telling me to have my name included.  I am a part of this and my father is the last male Moyer, he is the end of his name because he had only daughters.  So there was a compromise.  I would completely screw my child over in two ways.  First, his first name is truly his second name.  And second, his second middle name was after my last name.  Confused yet?  Yes, he has four names.  And not a hyphenated last name, but two middle names.  The first middle name is Parker and the second middle name is Moyer.  I loved it.  I absolutely fell in love with this name I had chosen for this child that I had just met.  I still love his name.  I think it is sophisticated and completely fits his personality.  I love calling him Raymond every once in a while to keep him on his toes.  Mostly I love the pride he has always had in his name.  For a while he thought that since his last name is also his favorite color, that I should change my last name to blue.

So now, there has been the thought of dropping his last name and making his second middle name (Moyer) his new last name.  It is something that I have asked if he would like to do for the past three years.  But last month it is a conversation that he started on his own.  The amount of pride that he had in his last name has diminished.  He told me he doesn't think that it matters anymore if he has his dad's last name since his dad never calls or tries to see him.  Parker's thoughts and feelings have changed towards his dad.  I knew that it would happen one day, but I thought I could smooth it over with "just remember that he loves you," for a few more years.  But he is getting it.  He has named jealousy in seeing other kids with their dads.  He has finally said that it's not fair that he doesn't have his dad.  He is name deep emotion about how it affects him.  I wish so badly that when he is sharing these emotions that I had some clue as to what he is feeling.  I don't.  I have a wonderful dad who has been a wonderful grandpa.  I will never relate to the pain that Parker feels.  That kinda thing crushes a mother's soul.  If I can't relate, how can I make it better?

Beyond naming these emotions towards his father, he has started to realize (without guidance) that he has amazing men in his life that do things with him that other boys do with their fathers.  He has pointed out how lucky he is to have the grandpas and the mr in his life.  Yesterday he just looked at me and said, "you know I am one lucky boy."  I am tearing up thinking about the insight and perception he has....he sees some sort of silver lining in his own almost 7 year old life.  How does he do it? 

To go back to the name.  I have collected the paperwork to change his name.  It will be completely up to him if he wants to or not.  I hope that I do not have to make contact with his father for approval, but I think that my case is strong enough that the court would award the name change.  Thinking about him being just Raymond Parker Moyer is bittersweet, but I think it will feel like a deep sigh of relief when he and I can have the same name.  Like something will be lifted from his mind.  I know it will not erase any pain that he feels, but could it be too much of a reminder now?  And I thinking too big for my 7 year old's mind?  The other question I have (and have with almost every decision that I make as a parent) would I be doing the right thing?  Or serving my own wants and needs over his.

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