Shakespeare once wrote “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. He was trying to say that a name is not that important, that you would still be you even if your name were different. “Hogwash” that’s right I said “Hogwash”. Shakespeare was poetic but he didn’t have a clue. I grew up with the name Thompson, for 18 years I was a Thompson. My Father was a Thompson, my brother and sister were Thompson’s, my Mother was not a Thompson any more, but being young I didn’t question why she was different. Then it happened, I turned 18 and I married my high school sweetheart. Some guy said some words and asked us each a question, we said ” I do” and then poof I wasn’t a Thompson anymore. At first I thought the new name was a little weird, but I had known it would happen so I was prepared. Hey it’s 1973, every girl that gets married gives up her Father’s name in favor of her husbands name. Wait a minute…Father’s name….husband’s name….what the heck happened to it being my name. Oh well I will just have to console myself with my first name Robin…now surely that one is mine… I will always be Robin.
Flash Forward to the present: It’s 36 years later, still married to ’73 (what I’ll call my husband in this blog) and we have 4 grown children, now known as girl 75, girl 79, girl 80 and boy 88. Have I gotten use to the new last name, yes I have. What I didn’t expect, what no one warned me about, was that I would lose my first name too. How is that possible you ask. Well let me tell you, it happens slowly over time, without you noticing at first. Then one day you realize you haven’t heard your name in a long while. Oh people call you by names, just not your name. First you become honey, sweetheart, teddy bear, and then you are Mommy, Mom and Muu-ther! (always drawing out that first syllable) and now grandma. Somewhere along the way, Robin got lost as I took on the roles that were my life. Now don’t get me wrong, I love being a wife and Mother. I would choose to do it again in a hot minute. It’s just that at 54 I want to be Robin again too, I want to get to know…me, remember what I was all about before I had these other names. My kids of course think I’m crazy. ’73 thinks I’m just going thru the change, but he has decided to humor me and use my first name “what is it again” he asks.