Jolene is almost 28 weeks along. We’ve known since she was 19 weeks along that our next baby will be a boy. We’ve been considering names for a while now. It didn’t dawn on me till yesterday that my son gets to pass on my surname if he so chooses.
Before we had Johanna I wanted a boy and a girl. Johanna was born and after the difficulty we had with her I said I would never have a child again. So my chance for a boy went out the window. Jolene was not too impressed with the idea of a boy anyway. She grew up with two younger sisters. Each sister was born 5 years apart. So the idea of having to raise a boy wasn’t big on her because she never had experience with boys. I grew up with sisters and cousins who were all girls. So having a boy was an exciting thought and a break of tradition. However, I passed on the idea of caring.
After much consideration, after we figured we were financially set, and after considering the affect another child would have on our marriage, we decided to try again. Well, there is no try, just do in our case. First time was a charm. Johanna wanted a baby sister. So when we found out that our baby was going to be a boy she was upset. I actually became upset for her. Knowing in reality this will be our last child barring some strange intervention.
All I can do is hope that Johanna and our boy can have a good relationship. My oldest sister and me have never had a good relationship. It’s always been contentious. I didn’t grow up with my younger sisters as they grew up in Tennessee. So I never had a problem with them. It is my hope that both my children will have a healthy relationship. Something that is always lacking with my sister and I.
I read an article a few weeks back that stated the desire to have a boy is “sexist.” I understand the premise, but personally I think the idea of saying you can’t want a boy is a sexist statement of its own. Otherwise we are creating a premise that now boys are second class citizens which in reality is being pressured at every turn. I realize that passing on an inherited surname is one of the few remaining patriarchal pillars. Well, so be it. My son gets to pass on my surname if he chooses.
I personally like my surname as it’s unique. I’ve only met two people that have the same last name other than my dad and sister. My mother introduced me to two people who live in Tennessee. There is a high school in Knoxville Tennessee as well that has the Bearden name. Here in California I’ve only heard of one person that has the name. He’s a sheriff here in Beaumont. The only time other than these I’ve ever heard of Bearden is with Romare Bearden. An artist born in 1911. He’s someone I studied extensively while in college.
I never met my grandfather. He was a hated man by the rest of my family. So my familial name doesn’t have a great history. However, with my dad, myself, and now my son we can create some familial history with a positive light. Is a surname part of the patriarchy? Yes. You are living in a fantasy land if you assume there can be a utopian society where everyone can be un-offended. So in reality, if my son chooses to marry someone and keep his surname, I wish him all the best. Hopefully he will make something better of the name than I did.
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