It’s New Year’s Eve and I couldn’t let this occasion slip by without observation. I’m not doing a 20 things for 2020 list, or telling you how to reach your goals.
My take on entering 2020 is as simple as this photograph.
More specifically, my expression reveals something worth considering as I set goals, make lists, break in my new planner, and generally prepare for a fresh decade.
It’s this: if I am not THIS excited / energized / enthusiastic about something, it’s a NO. It’s coming off my agenda, my calendar, my mind and heart, too. I am no longer interested in anything or anyone who produces a mediocre half-ass response.
Okay, I’m not referring to grocery shopping, cleaning the bathroom, or filing paperwork. We know these are necessary. Maybe sometimes I can smile like this afterwards – that I did something I didn’t really want to do. But this isn’t about chores, this is about all the OTHER stuff. The extra things, the recreation, the enrichment, the glorious things of life.
What I’ve realized over the past year is that I have had a lot of free time. Some of it was wasted on things that were really not fun or fulfilling. Or spent with people who did not bring out my best. Life is too short! My energy and time are too precious to waste on anything that doesn’t bring this expression to my face.
Or yours! When was the last time you were SO excited about something?
My friend invited me to an aerial yoga class, which I had been curious about, but had yet to try. It was every bit as challenging as it was fun, AND afterwards we grabbed a bite and had a great time catching up.
So it was a perfect GNO, and I was delighted to be where I was, doing what I was doing, and with whom.
That is what I hope and plan for 2020. That I can be enthusiastic with the endeavors of my choosing that lie before me, and that any company I keep will bring additional joy. As I ponder the future, I know I am going in with a fresh perspective and an optimistic smile!
It’s been a hot minute since I have written. Tell me, have you missed my wit and enlightenment? Say yes, please.
I was SHOCKED that this was not a topic of a post last year. I remember very specifically writing it in my head. I actually went back through all my posts and drafts and it’s nowhere to be found. So here goes.
Last year was the first official year that I decorated my tree as an empty nester. It was brutal. Pulling out all of the nostalgia just about killed me dead. I tried to set myself up for success. I had some funky dance music going, and a glass of red to keep me company.
What I didn’t realize is how sentimental I actually am.
Digging through all of the handmade ornaments, and realizing an entire era has passed. So many memories wrapped in paper towels, waiting to be hung on the tree once again. I remember last year, vacillating between the joy of decorating, and the melancholy of missing my kids.
So this year, I was prepared. I knew it was coming. I had funky dance music going, but held off on the red as if that would help keep my emotional wall strong and steady.
No such luck. If things are not perfectly balanced, or there are bare spots, I didn’t see them through my tears.
My daughters are adults now, responsibly living in their own places and I probably should give them some of these ornaments. Or maybe not.
Many women (okay, and fellas, too) decide to go full-on-decorator when their nest empties. It must all be fancy-schmancy, and fragile, and themed out, maybe even hand-blown imports from a land far away. With zero chance of a toddler invasion, it’s now safe to pull out the good stuff.
What is the good stuff? The safe, color coordinated, designer ornaments that look as though they came right off of a Pinterest board? Expensive maybe, but not necessarily the good stuff.
The good stuff is knowing that there are lots of memories hanging on my tree. Coworkers that I miss, friends from years ago, and preschool handmade pieces that have survived only by a miracle.
I get it now. And if I weren’t saving all of my money for future goals, I’d run out and get my own version of decorator tree ornaments. My kids will all be here at some point to celebrate with me (okay, mid January will work), and they will appreciate all of the sentimentality on my tree.
I’d like to offer up a little poem…
Lights and ribbons and garland and such, These do not cause the tears near as much, As the small hand-print reindeer from Christmases long past, The preschool sparkles disappear much too fast. Enjoy your little ones and all their noise and mess, For one day, you too will have to confess, How much you miss those cherub-like faces, And be thrilled for grand babies to take their places. It’s perfectly fine to have a new fancy theme, With decorator pieces and chosen color scheme. Either way, let’s do our best to keep things festive and bright. A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Whether you’re keeping old traditions or beginning new ones, may your season one of wonder and peace!
Some people at my church had a yard sale the other day to help out a family in need. It’s wonderful when a bunch of people rally to help others, no matter how it’s done. Some organize events like races or dinners, while others simply write checks. The motivation is what matters, and theirs was in the right place.
My involvement in this whole project was very minor. I helped coordinate the borrowing of some tables. I recommended to others that donations were welcome. And early that morning, I dropped by for a bit of shopping. I purchased a couple of great items and left a small donation to boot.
The irony is that I just graduated from business college with high honors; yet I couldn’t get rid of my own junk without it costing me. At the time it was not the tiniest bit amusing. Now I can laugh about it. Maybe you will too.
Let’s properly set the stage, shall we?
My husband (now ex) and I, along with the four daughters between us, were living in less a thousand square feet. Many would agree (especially here in the US), that’s not enough room for a family of six. Add to that a man who refuses to part with things. It was time to clean out!
Honestly, I would have just taken it all to the Goodwill a mile away, but I felt like a sale could generate some cash. Maybe we could make a buck or two. The kids got involved, and before I realized what was happening , we were sorting through treasures junk and making signs.
Then the kids talked me into selling brownies and lemonade. Great idea! Except that I shelled out cash for brownie mix, lemonade supplies, cups, and more signage.
We spent a week sorting, debating, planning and pricing. Then at least an hour putting out signs, hauling all of our treasures junk outside, and then spent several more hours standing guard.
We were hoping for paying customers that would not barter over a fifty-cent item. Seriously. I’ve already marked this prize down to the lowest respectable amount, and you want a deal? Will I let you have it for a quarter? No, please, just take it. It’s free now. You win.
I managed to sell about $20 worth of stuff. It was mostly me buying brownies that the kids refused to let me eat for free. Then I donated a few of the bigger items to the neighbor across the way, packed the rest into the Isuzu Rodeo, and three trips to Goodwill later, it was finished.
Or so I thought.
The next day hubby began his inquisition. Him: “What happened to that picture that was leaning up behind the book shelf? You didn’t sell it, did you?” Me: “Wait, do you mean the ugly framed print that was covered in dust, with no place to be hung?” Him: “Yes, that one. It had been signed by the artist who was a dear friend of mine who has now passed away. It means a lot to me.”
Oh, great. That detail had not been mentioned AT ALL in the days leading up to the sale, or at any point during the sale in which said picture had been marked at $2 with not a taker all day. (Note: hubby had been home for the several-hour-sale, but chose to not participate. I’m not angry, you’re angry).
It might have been fun to have told him someone bought it. I could have just handed him $2, but that would have been lying, and I try to be an honest person. This precious print was at Goodwill where I had gladly dropped it off. There was such wailing and carrying on when I confessed its whereabouts; the only right thing to do was to try and retrieve it.
Do you know what happens when you try to reclaim a donated item at Goodwill? You get to BUY IT BACK, that’s what. They thought it was worth TEN DOLLARS, which is what I spent the following day. Add to that, the brownie and lemonade supplies and signage, and I actually lost money on the whole cluster endeavor.
So this is why I don’t hold or even help with yard sales anymore. What did I learn through my yard sale fiasco?
First, no more yard sales. Second, don’t marry a hoarder. Third, don’t buy anything I don’t absolutely love. Fourth, if the kids want an enterprise of their own, they need to self-fund or find another investor. Finally, stick to what I’m good at, which quite clearly excludes yard sales. Five solid lessons learned. I’ll take it!
Also, I thought y’all needed a break from all the grand-baby posts. There will be more soon enough. But here’s a quick peek to hold you over.
Any yard sale tales you’d like to tell? I’d love to hear from you. It can’t be worse than the one I just shared, or could it?
I’m about to hop on a plane to head back to Florida where all the cool and hip grandparents live. Obviously.
There are many other reasons to head home besides the frigid temps. None of them seem important though. But in attempting to swallow this giant lump of sadness in my throat, I’ll be logical and list them here for both of us.
1 – He is not my baby. He is my daughter’s baby, and she is well able to take excellent care of him. She is a natural and I’m beyond proud of her and her man already.
2 – Everyone needs their space. I need my own space to live, and they definitely need me to not be in their space any longer. And since a second home isn’t an option, it’s back to Florida I must go.
3 – I have another daughter. True, she is independent and can go for days without seeing me, but she is still my kid and I’ve missed her.
4 – I have a job. Not just any job, but one that I truly care about. Also, after working remotely, I realize it’s not the kind of job that can really be done from afar. It’s hard to “work” in a community when you’re not actually there.
5 – I need to take care of myself. While away, I basically ignored the yoga mat in my room, barely wrote, and ate garbage (my daughter has a sweet tooth, and I joined her indulgences). My self-care routine suffered a bit, and I know it’s not sustainable to continue without it.
These are all logical and mature and wise observations. But my heart is just breaking at the idea of not holding this one for 2 whole months. Ugh…
We parted this morning without any tears, and so far I’ve (sort-of) been holding them at bay. I know he is in good hands, and everyone knows how to feed themselves and do the laundry and love on that baby.
I feel so very grateful that I have been able to be here for my girl and her man during their last few days pre-baby. And even more thankful to have been able to enjoy this adorable boy’s first eleven days in our world.
So here’s what I’m telling myself: Hang in there. Use Facetime. Find travel deals. Call often. Prioritize the relationship. Also, know what’s mine and what isn’t.
To all those who grandparent from a distance, what wisdom do you have for me? How do you manage? For real, I need to know!
Ten days ago, I hopped on a plane to be with my daughter and her man. I had gotten too antsy to remain 997 miles away from them and their baby bump. All signs were pointing to his imminent arrival, and I did not want to fret for another single second about getting there in time.
What transpired upon my arrival? Several days of waiting. But not waiting from a distance, waiting with them. Those final days of pregnancy are miserable (especially if you go beyond the due date!), and I was glad to help with the cooking and cleaning and shopping and laundry. I’ve spent more time on domestic chores in this span than I have in the past six months. I wish I was kidding.
The flight may have been considered by some to be premature, including me occasionally. I adjusted to living with a dog, sleeping on an air mattress, and living out of my suitcase. All these details were expected, and totally fine with me. I was helpful and generous and tried to stay out of their way.
And then a couple of days ago, labor began FOR REAL. This was also expected. Duh. People don’t stay pregnant forever.
But what I was sort of prepared for, was completely falling in love with this tiny precious human baby. My first grandchild. My child’s child. What in the actual ___? I realize I seem too young for this, but apparently looks are deceiving, because it’s all true. And here he is…
Meet Ellix Morgan, born at 5:37pm on Wednesday, October 30. He weighed in at 7 lbs, 7 oz, and measured 19.5 inches long. Most people enjoy such stats. You’re welcome.
The name is nearly original. Tyler met someone with the name Elixander, and they both instantly loved it, and modified it to be their own version. The middle name, though? That’s what has completely done me in.
Background: I have two daughters, Kelsey and Morgan.
Maybe the choosing of her sister’s name, as his middle name, is not a big deal to others. But to me, the floodgates opened and I sobbed.
The entire time these two daughters were growing up, my prayers were that they would love one another in their adult years. There was plenty of evidence that divine intervention would be necessary. They fought with each other, and with me. They competed for time and attention. They argued about clothes and cars and anything else nearby. There were rough patches for sure, I wasn’t sure it would ever cease.
And now, here we are. One loving the another enough to use her name. Miracles do happen. The next generation seems to be starting off with as much love as a grandmother could ever hope for.
It seems like tissues would be appropriate. So what’s up with combat boots?
Because life brings challenges, and it can feel like an all-out war. Prioritizing relationships and keeping close family ties is not for wimps. Overcoming disagreements. Having healthy boundaries. Knowing when to speak up and when to shut up. Forgiving each other. Understanding and having compassion for ourselves and others. All of these things are difficult, but so worth the fight.
Here’s to a new generation of love, wonder and joy!
Thanks for reading, until next time, Sherri, aka JoJo
That is what we are telling ourselves anyway. Today, October 26 is one whole day past the official due date, but apparently the baby didn’t get that memo. Or care. All I know is that we are all kinda pacing about and getting a kick out of all the things known to send labor along its merry way.
Among the “tried and true” items to spur labor on include: Eating French Onion Soup from Outback. Having sex. Eating pizza. Drinking half a glass of red wine. Going for walks. Going for a bumpy ride. Primrose oil. Castor oil. Raspberry leaf tea. Eating pineapple. Taking a hot bath. Getting a facial.
Honestly, I think it’s all very coincidental and random and varies so much that there isn’t ONE thing. Whatever it was that someone was doing, at the moment she realized she was in labor, is the thing that worked for HER. Therefore, there are hundreds of things that we hear and read. All of them worked for someone, but none have worked for the someone who is my daughter.
The clock is definitely ticking, especially since I arrived 5 days ago. On Tuesday, in a fit of excitement, I boarded a plane to come be with my girl. She had been having major contractions and we felt certain she was in labor.
There’s been plenty to do since my arrival, like helping her with a mountain of laundry, food shopping and cooking, strolling around various stores, and watching Netflix.
It’s been great to enjoy some cooler fall weather, and I am NOT missing the 90 degrees that Florida was serving up. There are even some lovely colors to enjoy. And I typically enjoy a trip this way in October just for those very reasons.
But not this trip.
This trip, the baby is supposed to arrive, and I get to be here. Except baby is not cooperating. So we wait patiently. We shop. We see the sights. We rearrange the baby’s wardrobe. We reminisce. And we continue to wait.
What is it about a new baby that keeps us so riveted?
I think it’s hope. Hope for a new life, and a new generation. Kelsey was the first grandchild on both sides of our family, and her child is a first grandchild for her dad and I. He actually arrived the day after me. There’s something very cool about all of us being here in support of this new life we are patiently waiting for.
It’s like we all get a do-over. As a parent, I was stressed out and overwhelmed and feeling so much pressure to get it right. To raise them right and too avoid looking like an idiot in the process. And THAT was before social media.
But as a JoJo (my grandma name), one generation removed, it’s easier. I can simply love my adult children and the grandchild. Is it a special bonus if I do some laundry or maybe make some soup? Yes it is, and it’s my joy to do it. (Also I live 1000 miles away, so I don’t have to worry about creating some sort of laundry dependency!)
Any suggestions on how to pass the time? Or how to get labor going? Or how to politely answer all the calls asking if the baby is here yet?
What kind of typo/title is this? It’s how I’m signing off on everything these days.
This stands for All Plans Subject To Cancellation In Case Of Baby. Moms everywhere get to use this from now on. JoJos and Mimis and Grammys too. I always felt like I’d make some great contribution to the world. This just may be it.
Sure, my friend, I’d love to have coffee and catch up. Next Wednesday? I may not be here, but sure, let’s pencil it in. But remember, APSTCICOB. Hair appointment? Sure, let’s do it, but then, obviously, APSTCICOB.
Yeah, I know patience is a virtue. It’s also scarce these days. I am restless and edgy and I’m not even the pregnant one. I’m just the JoJo who wants to be there already.
What is there to do? I can’t make any commitments or appointments or plans. I can only be in the moment. In the day. Present. Sounds easy, right?
Yesterday I was so antsy that I took myself to the beach for several hours. Here was the reward for WAITING for the sunset. And the afterglow, which is almost without fail, the best part. I’ve learned to not rush off as soon as the sun dips below the waves. See, I have a tiny bit of patience.
Part of me wants to hop in the car and just make my way north. It would give me something to do. No wonder women feel the need to nest. Cleaning and organizing are fabulous ways to pass the time. I’ve done all mine, and the girl has done all of hers, too. It’s maddening to just wait around for labor.
It would be nice if the baby were on a schedule. Hahahaha! Three people predicted that he would arrive tomorrow (Oct. 22). He is due on Friday, but we all know that babies come when THEY are ready. And me being anxious about getting myself there will not change any of it. I’m supposed to be the calm and wise one, right? Yeah, I don’t know that I will ever fit that description. Like ever.
I like to be in charge. I like to plan and control. I like to have a sense of power. As if. I once heard that no one has control anyway, it’s just the illusion of control.
I think I’d be okay with even that. But I’ve got none of it.
So I think I’ll get my laundry done, pack my suitcase, and curl up with a good book. And wait patiently anxiously by the phone.
Stay tuned, and thanks for reading, until next time! Sherri
I love old sayings. My friend Susan has gobs of them. Some are more like funny descriptors, as in “it was darker than a gorilla’s armpit”. Is that even dark? How does anyone know? I doubt anyone has investigated this as in, “Hi there Mr. Gorilla, mind showing me your armpit?” It’s just an imaginative way of making a point. Entertainment > accuracy.
My daughter, who is still with child as of this writing (38.5 weeks!) has been bombarded with sayings, or old wives’ tales, or whatever they are. Heartburn means the baby will have lots of hair, and if you opt in for the miracle that an epidural is, it can make breastfeeding more difficult. Who are these old wives anyway?
Sometimes sayings get handed down without explanation. Like this one, “The proof is in the pudding.” Really? I guess that would apply to pudding makers, but I’m not sure how to make it relevant in my own non-pudding world.
This blog is about many things, but pudding isn’t one. It’s about sayings, and my current battle is with the one almost in the title, “No news is good news”. What that could mean is don’t talk to me.
No, it means to assume the best when you don’t hear or don’t know some important fact. It largely applies to medical ailments, hospitalizations and other such events.
Like at this exact moment. I have been staying so close to my phone in case when my daughter calls to tell me she’s in labor and ready for me to come. It’s so hard to sit here and wait for the call. But each time I answer in full anticipation of springing into action. My suitcase can be packed in about 3 minutes. I’ve been practicing like I’m in a pit crew at the Daytona 500.
In this instance, no news actually IS good news. Waiting for a baby to be born is a perfect example of not calling someone every five minutes to ask if you are still pregnant, or how are you feeling, or are you having any contractions yet and if so how far apart are they and what else are you feeling and should I come now???
My sister called me every day during the final two weeks of my last pregnancy. Or at least it seemed like every day. I finally snapped back with, “Actually, I had the baby a week ago. I’m just not telling you.” I was hormonal, and my sister has endured decades of my smart-assiness. “No news is good news” is definitely for the protection of those kind and innocent folks who call (a little too) often, simply because they mean well.
But what if your family operated in this mode all the time, like my family sometimes? Also, this is true for my friend Kevin. The only time he hears from a certain family member is when that person calls to report a death, like he’s on a beat with the local paper. The other day, Kevin got a call from this person, and no one had died. It was just a call to say hello. He was shocked, as were the rest of the family when the call wasn’t actually about bad news, but connection.
When there is distance between people, as in my family and Kevin’s, it’s even more important to call with good news. Silence is not always golden. Sometimes we need to hear from those we love, and it’s so beautiful when it can drop right in from the clear blue sky.
But alas, I am learning to take responsibility for my own self. When I am missing anyone, it’s up to me to reach out and initiate the connection. It’s okay to call to say, “Hello, how are you? I don’t have any news, good or bad, but I’m thinking of you and wanted you to know.” Easy enough, right?
Maybe your call or text would be good news to someone. There’s only one way to find out. Who do you need to reach out to today?
Maybe, perhaps, it could be that I have commitment issues.
I recently calculated out how many times I have changed my place of residency. It comes to twenty-seven. For real. The weird thing is that if when I find myself exaggerating, I often use the number twenty-seven. You know, like when I tell you how many red lights I hit on my way to your house (which is why I’m late), but it’s really only like five. It’s way more fun to say twenty-seven red lights. Maybe it has something to do with extra syllables when one is exaggerating. See?
It is not fun, however, when twenty-seven is the actual number of how many times I have physically relocated. Every last one of these moves has been as an adult, with a few cross country, and many were across town. My parents still live in the same exact house they bought when I was a wee babe (circa 1968). I lived there until I was eighteen, and I’ve been moving ever since.
What my family saw as stability, I saw as boredom. I couldn’t wait to live in other places, especially somewhere not cold, like Florida. I’m happy to say that I’ve been in Sarasota since 1996, so at least there’s that. Some stints have been on the longer, more respectable side, like five years in one place, and four in another, but this is my third move in as many years, and this spot is only mine for a year at most.
Some of the moves, probably half, involved a boyfriend or fiancee or a wedded relationship. I won’t bother to chronicle it all out for you (you’re welcome), but it’s safe to say I understand what propelled each move. Some moves were simply necessary, and some were fueled by desire. I know the next place will be a purchase, and the only name on the closing docs (and mortgage) will be mine. Oh, and probably the bank, too.
Back to the moving, I’m over it honestly.
It seems silly that I’m just now embarking on this home ownership goal, but that is my reality. I’ve been spending all my dollars on raising children and adventures and travel and college and braces and my soon-to-arrive grandson. So the timing hasn’t been right to even dream of it until now. With that, it is my goal, and this girl is getting after it.
Where I am living is perfect – for now. It’s big enough for visitors, and cozy enough to feel like home. It’s peaceful and quiet and deer literally play in the front yard. It’s comfortably furnished, and all the maintenance is included, so I can just relax and unwind once I’m home. There are several options for my hammock, and it goes up tomorrow.
That is the hard part. Knowing that this location is temporary, when I am so ready to settle in. Do grandparents go through nesting too? Is that what this is about?
Update: Baby Grandson’s official due date is in just 2 weeks, so my goal, which was to be unpacked before his arrival, was met this weekend (yay me!) I will be ready to head north by the time her contractions take hold, which can be ANY DAY NOW!!!
And back to the moving…
When I buy my very own place, I will be able to paint whatever walls and colors I want. I will get to choose light fixtures and cabinet handles and I can plant things in the actual ground. I can hang wind chimes in the backyard oasis I plan to create. This actually frees me from fussing over every nook and cranny here.
But, first things first. My grandson will be here very soon, and my attention will be appropriately consumed! There will probably be a few pics, and maybe some gushing. Who am I kidding? There will absolutely be pictures and gushing . And you’ll want to see, right?
Of course you will.
It’s gotta be better than reading about endless moves!
Do they have a name picked out? This is the number one question I’m getting these days. Of course I’m referring to my scheduled-to-arrive-in-four-weeks grandson.
Nope. Can’t tell ya. I’m sworn to secrecy. But I like it and anyways, it’s not my child to name. Thank goodness. I did that twice already, and I believe both children are named appropriately. I mean, no one rushed down to the courthouse on their 18th birthday to change the name I gave them. I’d call that success.
It got me to thinking about the whole ordeal around names. It’s a very critical responsibility. Especially because, the first thing I think when I hear a whacked-out name is, “What the @$&? was his/her mother thinking?” Mothers get blamed for everything, right out of the gate.
Family names, middle names and initials, and Jr’s, and III’s, and grandmother’s name, all these bear weight. Some names are off limits, based on our past experience of others. If there is a terrible ex lurking in your memory, the name is tainted forever more.
Another consideration is to predict the potential teasing that may occur with said potential name. Maybe it’s better these days, with teachers and parents becoming more sensitive to bullying and such. Maybe this generation of kids with unusual names are safer than we were.
My cousins called me Sherri Canary. I’m not yellow and I can’t sing, but my legs were skinny enough, so I guess it made sense. I didn’t love it, but it was better than Hairy Sherri or Scary Sherri or others they could have chosen.
And spelling. Holy alphabet, this is another area that really counts. Some names are just easy. You know how spell them and pronounce them with little-to-no-room for error. Like James. Or Scott. Even Benjamin and Alexander with three syllables each are straightforward. Is it only girl names that go completely off the rails? Take a common girl name like Kayley…
Kayley, Kaley, Kailey, Kaleigh, Kaylie, Kailee, Caylee, Cailey, Cayley… see what I mean? My own name comes in a variety pack, and I really don’t care anymore, but it was a big deal when I was a kid. My own grandmother consistently added an “e” on my name, making it Sherrie. Sounds exactly the same, but I was hurt by this when I should have just been happy she remembered me at all. We’ll just consider this a clear sign that I’ve always been a little “extra”.
So much pressure, but then, our need to name things gives us plenty of practice. We name our pets – sometimes as children we have this great honor. I once had a dog named Pickles, inspired while grocery shopping with my mom, of course.
I have heard that men often bestow a name for their man parts (this could be an entire post, but no). We name houses. And boats. Heck, my car even has a name. She’s Rhonda the Honda. My friend has a sporty red SUV, and I suggested the name Ruby.
There’s far less pressure in naming an SUV than in naming a human baby that you bring into the world. This same baby could grow up and hate your guts over a terrible name (remember, it’s mom’s fault).
The one name, over which I have some measure of control, is my grandma name. Also, I should confess that my original name has been modified from Gigi to JoJo. It’s more original. Jo is my middle name, and I liked it so much I shared it with my daughter. I’m told it could change into whatever name the little guy can actually say, but I don’t buy it. He’s gonna learn how to say JoJo eventually.
Regardless of where you stand on names, it’s a fun and slightly grueling process to name your very own child. I’m excited for what they’ve chosen, and I’ll let them delight the world with the announcement when he arrives soon. In the meantime, how do you feel about the name you were given? Did you question your mother’s sanity? Does it carry on a family tradition?