Tuesday, May 27, 2008
What's in a name?
This weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to a family gathering for my mother's Italian side. The Grasso/Locicero family. My great grandparents moved to NH from Sicily when they were in their late teens. My great grandmother was a Locicero and my great grandfather a Grasso. I was too young to remember my great grandfather but I have many memories of visits to my grandma Grasso's house as we called her. Her first name was Vincenza. I was too young to really absorb and realize how much I had around me at the time. Instead as a young child I was easily annoyed that I could not understand her broken English and every time she pinched my cheeks I wanted to scream. The many large meals we had at her house though were unforgettable.
In Italy it is tradition to pass down family names to the children. When they came to America though most of this tradition stopped. My great grandparents carried it on. They gave birth to Salvatore (my grandfather), Mary, Camile and Rosario. It was this generation however who chose more American names for their kids. I am assuming in order to have them become more "Americanized".
When I married I did something I never thought I would do and I took my husbands last name. When I was younger I used to wish my mother had hyphenated our last names so I could have used her maiden name as well as my father's. I found it unfair that the women marries and gives up her name. The one identifier of her past. I have been thinking of switching my name back for years now. I mean no disrespect to my husband and his family. I only wish to hold on to mine as well.
Some people move their maiden name to be their middle name. This is an option for me but I don't want to lose my middle name either. I think the only thing to do is to have several names as I have given my children. So I believe I will add my mother's maiden name of Grasso to my middle name and then add my maiden name of Freel and maybe hyphenate it with my current last name. I'm sure it will confuse people but I don't really care. I have never been one to do anything normal anyway.