August 17, 2012 --Remembering

I was kind of out of sorts when I went to yoga this morning.

Yesterday, I'd stopped by the girls' school to drop off the tuition check and while I was there, I thought I'd give them a head's up before they labeled everything that Ana was now going by her middle name, Katherine.  I ran into that kind of bureaucratic, knee-jerk oppositional reflex that one has come to know and love in places like, say, the DMV.  I didn't expect it at my kids' school.  The person I spoke with told me, "We'll need court papers to make that happen."  I was, frankly, openly incredulous. "She's not CHANGING her name.  She's just using a different PART of it."

I don't know. It just stayed with me all day yesterday. I thought of some very witty and cutting things I could have said.  But mostly, I was just disappointed at the lack of willingness to even try to do something so simple.  Surely, my daughter is not the only kid who is called by something other than her first name.  I was profoundly disappointed at the attitude of this woman.  I hate that kind of "say no and sort it out later" mentality.  Especially, you know, if it leads people to make blatantly errant statements with absolute authority.

Okay, rant over on that subject. (For now, anyway.)

So then, this morning, I'd just found out that Jane had a performance at camp, which meant after yoga, I'd have to really hurry to shower and get to her camp in time, which meant everything else I was planning to do got bumped.  I had workers at the house, which meant the dogs didn't get to go outside...I was just a little rattled and out of sorts.

And then, right before class started, I remembered that today is August 17, and that it has been five years since our 17-year-old Austin next door neighbor was tragically killed in a car accident. And there it was, see, a little perspective.

I dedicated my practice to his parents.  And all day long, I've had them in my heart, wishing for some kind of comfort to give them for a wound that will never, ever heal.


jennyp said…
So wish the perspective we need didn't come at the expense of amazing kids. Our pastor's son, 14, an amazing gifted kid, had some bruises on his arm last fall, just some bruises. This week he had a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. It will save his life, but it is a long, difficult process.

As for the name thing, my advice, bypass the office, just tell the teachers. Our school office doesn't always get what we do back there in the classrooms, and I can almost guarantee you that the teachers will call Ana Katherine whatever she wants to be called. We have one young man this year that mom told us went by his middle name, so we started calling him by his middle name, and I think he is doing an Ana reverse, because he keeps writing his 1st name on papers! We have to sort that out next week. I only know of one teacher who refused to call one of my students by her middle name. This young lady was very smart and enjoyed torturing people she didn't respect. So she started refusing to call the teacher by her name and would only refer to her as "teacher". I thought that was hysterical and, well, fitting. Eventually the teacher relented. I doubt Katherine will have to resort to such measures!
tanita✿davis said…
Junior year I started going by my first name after going by my middle name my whole life.

I have no idea how they can possibly object to HER USING HER OWN NAME.

But, I feel you. PERSPECTIVE. It's something we need. I'm holding that family in my heart today as well.
Shaatzie said…
We would so hope educators could respond with, "Great, we'll call her Katherine, no problem."

And then leave the records as they are, no need to name change; teenagers are a changeable as the weather. Come to think of, teens are, in turn, cloudy, rainy, stormy, windy, sunny and bright. Just wait a minute...

Actually. I'm way past my teens and I'm beginning to call myself "Olivia" which was my maternal grandmother's name. I have always felt close to her even though she died when I was very young. I felt we had much in common. I'm not asking others to call me Olivia; I just put it on my writings.

One day I may identify myself fully with my birth name, but this is a comforting connection with an ancestor and one I find comfortable.

It's a way of honoring my maternal line. After all, I carried the name of the paternal line most of my life. Surely a first name honoring the female side is not too unkind.

Maybe 'Katherine' represents someone or something that sustains her right now, and perhaps forever. It would be interesting to ask...

I applaud for accepting it as you have! Great mothering. We are whom we call ourselves.

Bullwinkle said…
I think that it is wonderful that you remember. So many people move on - not to forget the tragedy but to avoid the loss and pain. I'm sorry for your loss.

As for the name thing, take what you want (uh, nothing?) leave the rest. Send the office person some loosening up blessings and let it go. Ftr, my parents would have been horrified that we tried to change our name. No way in hell would anyone have allowed it - school, church, etc. Anyway, at best it was a frivolous action of the ostentatiously rich and bored and at worst you were trying to run away from something. (Hmmm, ... I was trying to run away.) I can imagine them needing proper paperwork (you know, from some authority and all-legal) to allow it. Because changing your name was. not. done. Unless you were female (and got married - and didn't everyone get married?)... wait -that is a different rant ;)

p.s. I have trouble remembering names, so lets just make it more challenging ...
psam ordener said…
I remember the first year of junior high when the teacher called the roll and asked for "Mary Smith". No one raised her hand. At the end, she asked if anyone had not been called. Indeed, one girl - Kathy Smith - whose whole name, it turned out, was "Mary Kathleen Smith". I'd known her for seven years and never knew she had a different first name. The teacher insisted on calling her "Mary" until her mother and the principal had a chat.

Good luck with Ana (don't know how to cross that out) - er, I mean, Katherine.