Lately, a few people have asked me what Itsy's last name will be.
It's weird because the question, for me, comes out of left field, whereas for those asking, it is completely logical.
It's weird on one hand because such a question continues along the lines of treating kid #2 differently than kid #1 just because I wasn't around when kid #1 was born (see this for an explanation). As an example, just today, a colleague of mine was asking about BioMom and I's respective time off once Itsy comes out (we're very lucky, I have six weeks off which we'll enjoy together, followed by BioMom being off until May-ish, after which I'll take the summer and fall off). When I said that I'd be back at school in the spring she pondered for a moment and followed up with something to the effect of 'I suspect that you'll fall in love with this baby and not want to leave it!' I dunno why that bothers me so. Of course I'll fall in love with Itsy (I think I have already and all I've seen so far are its Alien-like punches through BioMom's belly and a bi-monthly heatbeat!), but it feels somehow that I will be less willing to leave Itsy than the FYO.
Its weird on the other hand because I am simply not attached to the idea of ownership generally, and particularly over the brood. Just to be clear, if you're wondering, it will be "Itsy [BioMom & FYO's Last Name]." In fact, I have to say that I sort of LIKE the fact that I have a different last name. It clarifies, in my mind, that they are separate people. Independent.
I am not opposed to changing my own name, or even hyphenating it. When I express this, I often get a nod of approval from these curious friends, which also strikes me as odd. Or the suggestion that we all hyphenate our names.
Ultimately, I wonder why? Why change at all? Why hyphenate and add to the already challenging minutia of the day-to-day?
I could argue that as a lesbian family, taking the traditional route is a countercultural act. I have friends that share each other's names and I think it is a wonderful act of committment.
I suspect, too, that it makes life easier in some ways to just have the same name.
What I really wonder about though, is all of the social baggage that people put on a name. So much so, that they feel like they can comment on our personal choices.