This was the last time I saw grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins prior to my sister’s funeral.
There are so many excuses for the lapse in time.
They are simply that. Excuses.
Something I realized when my sister died was that family is of the utmost importance. And there was so much of my family that my boys had yet to meet.
I sent my honey and my boys home a few days before my sister’s funeral because I knew that my boys could not be expected to understand this event. They were there for the important part. They were there to see Auntie Heidi and tell her they loved her. They got to tell her goodbye. But they did not get to meet the family that came that Easter weekend to bid their fond farewell.
Our journey last week to Minnesota was an important one.
I emailed my aunt and uncle and asked if the boys and I could stay with them. I asked them to host a family get together. They quickly agreed and looked forward to our visit.
The day arrived. My boys met a fair majority of my family. The family that shares my last name. I hung out with cousins I’d only ever met on Facebook. I shared memories with the family I grew up around. I watched my boys build bonds and expand their definition of our family.
Throughout the engagement one thing became very clear to Eli. He was in a house full of people who did NOT share his last name but who did share mine. He obsessed about it for several days.
Mommy, why won’t you change your last name.
Mommy, when will change your last name.
He spent the week asking everyone what their last name was. He questioned my mom because she had a different last name than me. I attempted to use that as a realization for him that I could be his mom and have a different last name to no avail.
I tried to explain the cost involved to those sweet hazel eyes. I came up with various excuses to present to that pouty lip. In the end I couldn’t explain to a naive 6YO the real reason I hold so tightly to my last name and so very quickly gave him and his brother what was, in my opinion, a better last name.
It’s personal. I won’t go into detail. But, in my mind I still have something to prove. I want to be the me I’ve always been with the name I’ve always had when I make my mark.
But, can I continue to look into those sweet eyes and avoid answering a question that means so very much to him. That means so very much to me.