106, and still counting…

Yesterday my great grandma turned 106. Every year is a miracle with her. It was a fun birthday party. There are always new babies to see, and I got to introduce Jeff as my addition to the family.
It’s funny. My great grandma had 2 daughters, and now there are like 10 great great grandchildren, like 15 great grandchildren (not counting the spouses- and most of us are too young to have kids). Amazing how families grow. Anyway, my grandma’s side doesn’t grow as quickly as her sister’s side. They always seem to have a new boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/baby whatever! So this was cool to bring someone on our side.
The one down side was that I had horrible cramps the whole time and felt totally antisocial. So I just watched the whole time. Still good to have been there.
I think that it is important to pass on what you’ve learned to someone, be it a child or a friend or a neice or nephew. But that family is a perfect example of how screwy family trees are. 2 daughters marry two men with different last names, then have lots of kids that marry people with different last names, then they have kids, etc.
Where I’m going with all this is… Jeff and I have decided to go with an alternate last name that is meaningful and relevant to our marriage. But there’s all this hubub about how it’s important to keep the “line” going, etc. Except every day I see more and more how it is pretty irrelevant in the end. The only thing that keeping Jeff’s last name would do for us is help the sons of our son’s sons to know the name of Jeff and I. Except, that completely excludes all of my siblings and my parents, eventually my little girls, and their daughters. The point: the male last name has nothing to do with who family is. So I like it.
If I can instill a sense of independence in my children from this hypocritical culture which stresses conservative, outdated traditions in the midst of an overwhelming sense of disrespect and irreverence for the actual relationship between two people then I will have done well.
I feel that this name stresses our commitment to each other, our determination to belong to one another fully, and our respect for what marriage actually is.
So why do I have to deal with the fear that my grandparents are gonna bitch me out for it! Well, I have Jeff. Plus, it’s 2005- not 1940. So I will stay strong and regret nothing.

Gracie
Gracie

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