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This Wonderful Life

October 8, 2009

This Wonderful Life: A Posey by any other name...

A few weeks ago, Posey gave us all new names. Or, to be more accurate, Posey gave us all one new name. Rose.

``My name is Rose, and your name is Rose, also,’’ she said, with the Rs in Rose sounding characteristically like a W, as in Wow or Winning or Willa. I was putting her to bed, and she was (also characteristically) dragging out the whole affair as long as she possibly could.

``My name is Rose, and your name is Rose. And Daddy’s name is Rose. And my sister and my brother are Rose also,’’ she explained.

``Mmm-hmmm,’’ I said, trying to provide neither encouragement nor resistance to her conversation, torn between my desire for her to go to sleep already, and my fascination with her (once again, characteristically) rampant imagination.

Now, I have no earthly idea where she got the idea of giving pseudonyms to her family members, but there we were with all new, botanical monikers: Rose and Rose and their lovely children, Rose, Rose and Rose.

It seems a universal girlthing to want to change your name at some point in childhood.

I personally spent five years between the ages of 5 and 10 wanting to try out new names. My mother often told me that she had given me the name Elizabeth for several reasons — among them that Elizabeth was her middle name and the name of the saint whose name my grandmother took at her confirmation. More importantly, it came with a wealth of nickname possibilities — Liza, Lizzie, Beth, Betsy, Libby and so on. She called me Lise — pronounced Lisa. As an elementary school student in the 1970s, that meant that I was one of half a dozen or so ``Lisas’’ in every grade. I hated that.

I begged my mother to find me an attorney so I could legally become Farrah or Kiki or Toni. Sure, there were other (famous) people with those names, but there was not one single Farrah at my elementary school.

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This Wonderful Life
  • This Wonderful Life: I can say No, but I prefer Yes If popular culture is any indication, it seems women suffer from an epidemic inability to refuse additional responsibilities. Magazines, self-help books and therapists nationwide offer heaps of advice on how to assert oneself, draw boundaries and generally say No when asked to sign on for those things for which we have little time and less interest.

    November 25, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I wish someone had told me Disclaimer: Because my son more or less demanded that I stop using him and his life as material for my column back when he was 12 or 13, I want to make it perfectly clear to all my readers (and any legal professionals who are now retained or may be retained at some future time by aforementioned son) that this column is not about him. It’s about me. The fact that he happened to turn 21 on Saturday is mere coincidence. So help me God.

    November 19, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches Every morning, Bee and I stand at the end of the driveway waiting for her bus and we look up into the branches of the elm tree that arches over the drive.

    November 5, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: To Posey on her fourth So here we are, on the other side of 3-years-old, and it seems we both survived it intact. It wasn’t easy, but perhaps it made us both stronger.

    October 30, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A Posey by any other name... A few weeks ago, Posey gave us all new names. Or, to be more accurate, Posey gave us all one new name. Rose.

    October 8, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Are pork chops really that good? If it seems unlikely for a vegetarian (that would be me) to own a couple of table- bound pigs, it probably seems downright absurd that their names should be Tender and Delicious.

    October 2, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I sssssseeeeeee you there The first thing you should know is that I used to suffer from a snake phobia. The operative word there is phobia. It wasn’t just a matter of disliking snakes. It wasn’t a fear of being bitten. It wasn’t a simple reluctance to touch their impossibly dry, nimble bodies.

    September 24, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: What’s so funny? My kids, I hope In my experience as a three-time parent, there is something absolutely, spiritually magical about the first time your child cracks a joke.

    September 17, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Who are these little girls? There are two children in my house who bear a striking resemblance to my daughters. They are adorable, smart and energetic.

    September 10, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A harvest that’s good for the soul Signs of harvest are all around. The afternoon sun glows amber over the fields and the farm stands are filled to overflowing with vegetables and fruit. We’re lucky to live in a place where we can have such an immediate connection to the food we eat.

    September 3, 2009