Tuesday, August 23, 2011

last name

i am not really a music lover (in the sense that i get excited about new songs coming out or want to go to concerts or anything). i do like music, but i don't spend much time listening to music other than in the car. or at christmas. i start playing christmas music as soon as halloween is over. but that's really more a love of christmas than it is a love of music...but that discussion is for a different post.

even though i am not a music lover per se, i do really enjoy singing along with the radio while driving. i love to drive by myself and just belt it out. one reason i don't really like new music is that i don't know the words and can't sing along. when i was little i would always be so disappointed when the tape jackets didn't have the lyrics for all the songs. i want to sing along and i want to have all the words right.

one song i love to sing in the car is carrie underwood's last name. now, i CANNOT sing like carrie underwood. not even close. but when i'm alone i don't really care. sometimes even when brent's with me i don't care. poor guy really needs earplugs to live with me.

anyway, i really love to sing that song. i don't know why - i cannot relate to anything about that song. i have never ever been to vegas. i have never been "picked up" by a stranger. i have never woken up realizing i was married to someone i didn't know. maybe the rebel inside me that i've been suppressing all these years thinks that song is so exciting because she goes out and does something totally crazy. i don't know. regardless, i love to sing that song.

when i stop and think about it, though, the situation in that song is a really scary one. what if i woke up and i didn't know my last name because i had married some stranger when i was in a drunken stupor? i mean really? talk about panic attack. (in all reality, in this day and age it would have been totally fine for her to keep her maiden name. but that's beside the point.)

what if we didn't know our last names? what if we didn't have last names? when you think about it, last names are a really big deal. my last name is a huge part of my identity. if i just walked around all the time saying "hey, i'm katie. yes, just katie." how in the heck would people know i was any different from the 100 other katies they know? i totally think last names are a big deal. (and i am sure most people would agree that last names do help with keeping things straight. as do social security numbers.)

but more than just for organization, last names tell us about who we are. my maiden name tells me my roots. my married name tells me that someone committed to spending his life with me. both names tell me that i am part of a family. some people might balk at my saying that my last name tells me who i am. they may tell me that i need to find my own identity, which should be separate and apart from my parents, sisters, and husband. but i don't buy that. my identity can't be separate from theirs...i am who i am because they are my family. and i am thankful for that.

yes, last names tell us who we are. they tell us where we belong. they (hopefully) tell us who will always have our backs. they tell us who loves us. i share my maiden name and last name with people who take care of me and people i get to take care of.

and as of friday, august 5, brent and i share a last name with this little darling:

this is our little miss ethiopia. and now she has our last name.

her new last name tells her who she is, where she belongs, who will always have her back, and who loves her.

and oh my goodness she is so cute.


  1. The top part of this post made me laugh, and the bottom of the post made me cry. Good one. I love you and your little miss Ethiopia too!

  2. One day you'll tell Lucy a beautiful story about the time you heard another Carrie Underwood song. The time you heard "Jesus, Take the Wheel!" as a ringtone on our commercial bus driver's phone.