Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Lately I've been feeling so very bored and restless. Charles has been good enough to listen to me moan and groan, and then throw Addie and me in the car and whisk us away on little spontaneous roadtrips. 
Last weekend, we headed to Seattle for the night, and we had an such a lovely time. We stayed at the Watertown Hotel which was simply perfect (a knock on the door and there is a complimentary cart full of toys and art supplies for Addie!) We ate great food, visited charming Seattle neighbourhoods, and took Addie to the zoo to visit baby Uzumma!
This week I kept checking craigslist for last-minute cancelations, and found this cottage on Bowen Island available. Off we went! 
I had never been to Bowen Island before but to me it is an almost magical place. We spent our days there on the beach and swimming in the warm ocean water, eating yummy food, perusing through the artisan's and farmers markets, and finding treasures at the annual book sale. Oh, and watching a movie under the stars. Another wonderful weekend. Thanks Daddy!

at the cottage by you.

A sweet 1920's cottage became our home

in the cottage by you.

The inside of the cottage. I love the colour of this room and would like to paint our bedroom a similar colour one day, too (been considering this forever now - and the perfect shade of yellowy cream).

 welcome! by you.

Addie hanging out on the front steps. Hello!

with daddy by you.

Because we are still not settled on Adelaide's official full name, Addie doesn't yet have a passport and so we are unable to fly out of Canada with her. I am so torn on this, as Charles and I do not have the same last name and Addie and I do not have the same last name. I suppose that it may seem silly to some, but this makes me feel so very uneasy and strange - that my daughter and I are not linked in this way. Her small birth certificate has no mention of me and it makes me uncomfortable... I feel like in some ways, officially, I have no way to prove she belongs with me. Which is strange, because Addie and I are such a team - we are always together and rarely ever apart. 

We've had the papers to change Adelaide's name to include my surname (I believe as a third name, rather than her having a long and hyphenated last name). Sometimes I think, "oh forget about it", and just want to go get her passport already. But this feeling down in my heart is there and it doesn't feel right. I am not sure if I should just get over myself or if my feelings have some merit. Has anyone reading this ever struggled with this? 


leslie said...

the cottage looks lovely. oh, you will have to go back.
addie is adorable. as usual.
and for the name thing. i have never thought about it too much. hisashi and i have different last names. i have never thought about our (future!) kids and passports. and over here in japan they can only have a first and last name on the passport. hmmm. you have me thinking now. i hope you find the perfect solution for you and your family. one that you feel comfortable with.

Cat said...

It was always clear for me that my son would have my last name and my partner's last name (we are not married). I couldn't accept to be excluded! His canadian passport has two last names and it's perfect. Good luck in your decision process!

quaint handmade said...

what if addie's middle name was sharilyn?

Alissa Nicolau said...

My parents didn't give my sister Millie a middle name. My parents have 7 children and only chose one child to be middle name less. So she was simply Millie May growing up. When she married her husband she became Millie May Price. Now I am so jealous that she has our maiden name still conected to her official name. I miss it sometimes. So... I say fill out the papers and add your last name to hers. I beleive in years to come she will treasure the names of both her parents conected with her own.

Then there is the Portuguese way of naming their children - 5 names! My husband is Cesar Jose De Silva Matos Nicolau. First is given name, second is for Mary or Joseph, third is um, I forgot!, fourth is his mothers maiden name, and last is naturally his father's family name.

Listen to your gut, Mother's intuition you know!

Helen said...

I hope you don't mind my asking, but why are you not mentioned on Addie's birth certificate? I thought you were her biological mother, no?

I don't mean to be intrusive, I'm just very curious after reading this entry.

In any case, I don't yet have children, but I've always thought that some of my children will have my last name as their last name, and others will have my (future) husband's last name as theirs. Maybe that sounds like it divides us, I don't know. I've just always thought that I want my last name passed down as well as my husband's. Plus, I've often wished that my mother's last name was, in some way, part of my name. Best of luck to you.

kim said...

My husband and I are legally married, but I chose to keep my own name. no particular reason, I just liked it better. When my kids came along they got his name. I'm not one for hyphens or names too long for my five year old to remember or pronounce,and my husband while understanding and accepting my wish to keep my own name, was genuinely a little hurt by it so I didn't want to rub salt in the wound. The only time that I find it becomes an issue is with school, like I have to explain the the teacher and principal my relationship with my child. I can't just walk in and say "I'm mrs. so and so, I'm here to pick up my kid....." the rest of the time names don't even matter. I even got a spot on the Birth certificate.

Good luck with the dilema, parenthood is just full of them isn't it!

waltz, matilda said...

I'm legally married to my partner, but didn't take his name. There's too much of my life tied up in my name to abandon it for his family's. We're a few years off from needing to sort such things out, but it's without a doubt that our kids will have both of our names, one way or the other; I'd feel strange in your position, too.

Fill out the papers, you have them in your care for a reason.

Also: what a beautiful place you spent your weekend at! I'm very jealous.

sarah said...

Would you be willing to share the name of the cottage? I live in Vancouver (and love your blog!) and we're always looking for places to getaway with our little one.

hooli said...

The name struggle can be very hard and it is different for everyone. You have to figure out for yourself where your identity lies.
Before my children were born I was an on-air news reporter my professional name was known in the public. When I married I didn't even consider changing it. Then I had children.
What I eventually concluded was that my true identity wasn't my last name. And though I was not excited about taking my husband's family name, when the moment came it just happened. I didn't grieve it, nor miss it.
You could just pick a new name as a family? I've heard of quite a few people doing that.

ann said...

follow your heart (how you feel. Which means you must include your name.
your family are gorgeous too.good luck

Anonymous said...

my mom never took my father's name when they married and so when i was born i was given my father's last name and the same middle name as my mom's father (which happened to be my great great grandmother's maiden name). a bit of a convoluted lineage but still a connection to my mother's family. now that i'm grown and working i've started using my full name (all three) and find there's something unique about having a family surname as a middle name rather than the more common "christian name" as middle name.

Make!Do! said...

Because I essentially had to hyphenate my last name to make things easier for immigration - something I didn't want to do - I told my husband that I would really really like to give our daughter my last name only. He agreed. Then she was born. He felt sad about it. So she's one of those poor kids that is hyphenated, at least for now. We may have a discussion/ceremony at age 13 where she picks her one true last name - something we're talking about, anyway.

christine said...

In the Philippines, children take their mother's maiden name as their middle and their father's as their last. Sometimes, they have second names, too, which gets long (before marriage, I was Christine Cecilia Micaller Castro!) but it is a nice way to feel connected to both mother and father's families.

In that same vein, when I got married, I kept my maiden name as my middle name and added my husband's name as my last. I am not always so traditional, and for work I still go by my maiden name since it was kind of established, but I knew I wanted to share the same last name with him and our children.

xo C.

p.s. I love that you and Addie are a team. It's so apparent from the stories and pictures you share, and it really is touching.

Maria said...

I struggled with this when I got married, I felt like I was losing a part of my identity if I changed my name. But looking into the future, I wanted to have the same last name as my child (if I had any).

I ended up changing my last name, keeping my maiden name as my middle name but never really using his name. Officially my passport and ID lists his last name, but everyone still knows me by my "real name" and professionally, I still get credited with that name.

Old credit cards still work with my ID 'cause my maiden name is there and things match up.

By the way, this is my first time to comment on your lovely blog. I love your style.

snow white and rose red said...

My partner aren't married. He said that as I did all the hard work I should give our son my last name! We did also decide that it was the nicest name too, and our baby has his dad's first name as his middle name. I also feel that it's not fair that we are all remembered by the male lineage, rather than the awesome female who gives birth and nurtures our generations of families, how did this come about?I was also very surprised amongst my mum friends, how all of them decided to go with the fathers surname automatically, without much apparent thought, and I know one of them regrets that decision now. I was also surprised at the reaction from friends and family, when we told them he would have my surname, not everyone was supportive. It's a very personal thing and you should just do what feels right for you.

Anonymous said...

oh it is so nice that you are able to get away!! sounds like a lot of fun!! ^^


Alex said...

Ah, the name game. I had the same struggle too. When we got married I chose to keep my name since it's mine and I have so much identity and history involved with it. (Plus my husband's last name is pretty vanilla). When we had our daughter we gave her daddy's last name and mommy's last name is her middle name plus her my mother's first name. So she has a long name... But I know there is a part of me in her legal name should she ever want or need it. Plus I need it - I'm connected to her. I incorporated my husband's last name into my middle name on my license should we ever have a problem connecting our family by name. Good luck and follow your heart.

Anonymous said...

I think your little girl should have 2 middle names, one of them being your last name. It is wonderful how she will grow into such a strong name and she will take it with her where ever she goes. I took my maiden name as my middle, it was too hard to loose it. I hope one day to give it to my son/daughter as his/her middle name, so that they know they came from both of their parents.

I love you blog :)

Melissa said...

I am unmarried, but have already changed my name once (from my father's last name to my mother's family's last name), and do not plan on doing it again. My boyfriend supports that decision, but when we talked about far-in-the-future babies, he said he wanted them to have his name since he thinks he will be the only one reproducing in his family. I am one of only two girls in my family, though, so I will not have anyone continuing the name, either.

So, I think we will either hyphenate (egad!) or give a kid both names, but alternate the order so that we don't feel slighted. Since his last name begins with an M and mine begins with an E, maybe all girls could be Girlio M--- E--- and all boys Boyboy E--- M---. I don't think the name matters as much as being a family does. :)

Anonymous said...

What a great getaway!
You should head out to the sunshine coast sometime. Check out this resort www.sunshinecoastresort.com I grew up on this resort (literally I used to live at it)
As for the name: my sister gave her son her last name and the fathers last name as a middle name. My nephew has 2 middle names (including the fathers last name) and it works out just fine. They were not married when he was born and it works out just fine. My main concern would be for traveling. I travel all the time and they are getting very picky. It would be best if your name is somewhere on her passport so that you would have less stress when flying. Good Luck, and don't worry too much about it...as Juliet said "What is in a name?" She is still always going to be your little girl

Anonymous said...

What a great getaway!
You should head out to the sunshine coast sometime. Check out this resort www.sunshinecoastresort.com I grew up on this resort (literally I used to live at it)
As for the name: my sister gave her son her last name and the fathers last name as a middle name. My nephew has 2 middle names (including the fathers last name) and it works out just fine. They were not married when he was born and it works out just fine. My main concern would be for traveling. I travel all the time and they are getting very picky. It would be best if your name is somewhere on her passport so that you would have less stress when flying. Good Luck, and don't worry too much about it...as Juliet said "What is in a name?" She is still always going to be your little girl

sharilyn said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, all of you. Your thoughts are so very much appreciated and have helped me immensely with my dilemma. Thankyou!!!

Patagonia Mum with Baby said...

I have the same problem, but my son has my partner's surname and not mine. I was born in argentina but lived in Australia, my son was born in Australia my partner is also born and bred in Australia.
My surname on the otherhand is a russian jewish surname and my partners is a very australian surname with english heritage. My son's name is spanish (Joaquin) and it is the only link he has to me and to my argentinian roots.
I would have liked him to have the two surnames but in the end just kept one (his father's). I wonder if i can change it in the future. Now I worry as i am travelling with him (as his dady is back in Australia working) and worry if the authorities ever stop me if they recognize him as my son as he has his father's surname in his passport.
cheers hopes everything will solve out for you!

HipKid said...

Here in Quebec even when you marry you must keep your own name (I think it has something to do with the incredibly high divorce rate in the 70s). I always said that our children would have hyphenated names, but when our son was born I just found it so tiresome and gave him my husband's last name. I do wish I had the same last name as my child, but I didn't want him to have this huge name, both of which are difficult to pronounce. I compensate by using my husband's last name in family situations.

Jeannie said...

I know this is an old post, but I feel like I need to comment as this is something I've had on my mind since my own son was born. I married my husband but didn't change my name at all. Although he didn't understand he knew that it's what I wanted so didn't really push. A year or so later we have a son and the times I brought up giving our son 4 names with the 3rd being my surname he didn't really take to the idea. Now my son is 4 and I feel as well without my name he has no heritage from my side that is being carried on. I don't think it's too late however and after reading your post, I think I may just try to open that conversation again and see how it goes. Feel blessed that you have someone who is open to unconformity. :)