S’mores have been the consistent, melty-chocolatey, crunchy, ooey gooey glue of my family for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my mom led my sister and me in Girl Scouts where we learned the art of toasting the marshmallow after carefully choosing our perfect roasting sticks after a long hike. We girls proudly built a campfire, sang songs, and told the ghost stories of Bloody Mary, The Babysitter, and Bloody Finger (from “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark-” high five if you know this book). While my mom is the master of the slow mallow roast achieved from patience and a steady rotation, marked by a beautiful smooth golden flush, my approach is more aggressive. I begin with the intention of the slow roast, and after about 10 seconds, thrust the marshmallow assertively into the fire for the ‘marshmallow fireball’ method. Characterized by its crispy black casing, the marshmallow fireball is a delectable addition to the s’more with its charred taste, appropriate for the most discerning palate.
I’d like to write this letter to my sweet baby Ginny regarding her very special string of names. As you may or may not know, I kept my last name after marriage. Changing my name was not an option for me; I view the tradition as very archaic and incompatible with my beliefs, and though it definitely works for other families, it did not sit well with me; therefore, I could not make such an important change out of convenience to society. Even after two years of marriage, I still get the confused looks, eye rolls, or comments about how I’m “one of ‘those’ feminists.” But that’s for another time and day.
This letter is to explain to perfect little Ginny why she has two last names.
*Below are some family pictures, including both namesake “Virginias,” grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
As I was snuggling with my daughter Ginny this morning, it was still dark- the room was slightly chilly as we lay ‘cheek-to-cheek,’ but her miniature dough-like body radiates the most comforting, soft heat. Everything was still and quiet except her gentle sighs and sweet little noises- the birds weren’t even awake yet. It felt like it was just us- Ginny and me- and that’s all that mattered.
Though my brain was still stirring and not fully conscious yet, a string of images and thoughts flashed through me in a matter of seconds as I was overwhelmed by the incredible amount of love and beauty I felt from this sweet, squishy person in my arms. Kissing those soft, marshmallow cheeks and squeezing that Buddha belly, I think, ‘I get it mom and dad.’
*You can see pictures of my lovely family below: mom, dad, brothers, sister and I both pregnant, my daughter, my mom and me at my baptism, and even grandma made the cut!