A Letter to My Daughter (About Her Two Last Names)

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.

13 Things I Learned About My Parents After Having a Baby

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!

Baby Registry 101

As my shower was just around the corner, I couldn’t wait to register for all the things my precious little baby would need. My husband and I entered the store, starry-eyed and ecstatic to start putting our future visions to life. After the consultant handed us a booklet of registry items and administered the scanning gun, we were off to ‘shop’ the aisles. I stood dumbfounded at the front of the store, having no clue how to even begin this mission, until my husband suggested we tackle the perimeter first. Simple enough- there we were at nursing pillows and bottles. Okay, I thought- this won’t be so bad. We can do this.

But wait- did I need a nursing pillow? I consulted the index of my registry book, scanned pages 5-7 on nursing pillows, and learned that yes, this was an essential, according to this baby Bible. Hmm okay, does it matter what brand? Do I need extra covers? Does the name-brand really make a difference if all the products look the same? Should I get a gender-specific color to be cute or neutral in case I reuse it for future babies?