I’m 65 (I know many of you are sick to death of how many times I have referenced my age over these last blogging years).
My name has changed over the years. I started out as Linda Lang. I guess I spent one too many years enduring the obvious- that I was superman’s girlfriend. Yes, there was Lois Lane writer and cub reporter
(ironic since I grew up to love writing so much), and Lana Lang, the other woman in the Superman saga. My mother whispered to me one too many times that she really wanted my first name to be Elizabeth rather than my middle name but my father’s wishes prevailed (based upon the 1946 song “Linda” written in honor of the future star Linda McCartney).
Boy do I digress….
So at age 21, at the juncture of a changing cities and moving to a new life, I dropped the Linda and dubbed myself a less formal version of Elizabeth- Liz. I felt and still feel it fits. Kind of zippy the way I feel inside. Then there were the marriages resulting in name changes. #whyintheworlddidInotkeepmymaidenname?
Linda Lang morphed into Liz Lang and then Liz Hauser for 12 or so years, followed by a remarriage adding the name Kitchens to my nomenclature repertoire. At the point of my re-marriage I considered taking back my OG (original) name since I would have to undergo countless bureaucratic name changes anyway. “But then there would be three different last names among five people in our household” I wailed to my then fiancé. So I adopted Kitchens, the third major iteration of my name.
But the one name I’m most proud of is Jozy. I received that particular designation in 2015 from my then new granddaughter. FaceTime is the best when grandchildren live 1000+ miles away. Apparently my labradoodle (Jozy) occupied more than a few of the Facetime frames, so much so Maya associated me with her and I became Jozy. (Our family actually has a history of naming people after pets).
I’m recently returned from a week long trip to Chicago to care for my granddaughter and grandson while their parents escaped on a much need vacation to a warmer climate. Yes, caring for a four year old and two year old is challenging. I’m years removed from the ever present needs of little ones- noses to be wiped, naps, snacks, scheduled meal times, potty training, sticker rewards for poops in the potty. The twenty degree Chicago weather and wind limited our outings. It was just too much trouble putting on and taking off mittens, parkas, hats, and boots. But the intimacy is irreplaceable. Trusting eyes looking into your own, imbuing you with superhuman strength, physical and psychic capacities long forgotten.
Maya trusted me enough to invite me in to her newish social sphere. I was a guest at her pre-school class leading a clay Valentine’s Arts and Crafts project (arts and craps as her adorable brother calls it) I, ever the over achieving grandmother, prepped for hours cutting out hearts and facial features for little ones to imagine themselves in clay. Maya introduced me to friends and invited me to join circle and snack time. Her almond shaped hazel eyes registered a measure of surprise when she looked up at me saying, “they liked you Jozy!” Never have I been prouder of a name than I was that day.
Street cred from my grandchild–priceless!