Tuesday, July 24, 2007

About My Name...

Am I too old to change my name? Most people in real life know me as Lorri, but I began using the name Wren when I started posting to parenting message boards on AOL. Me being the paranoid mommy that I am, I didn't want some weird freak lurking about to be able to find me or my child, so I decided not to use my real name online. Well, that was four years ago, and over time, I've become more Wren and less Lorri. I know that doesn't appear to make sense, but bear with me...

Lorri is from a broken home. She is too poor to shop at the mall, and she sometimes has to carry milk jugs to her neighbors and ask to have them filled with water because her mother couldn't afford to pay the bill and the water was turned off. She has crooked teeth and is painfully shy. She has never kissed a boy. She cries in her room alone because her mother never apologizes first, and she turns up the radio when her brother and sister get yelled at. She dreams of becoming a famous actress when she grows up because it's the most opposite she can think of from the life she now lives. She sneaks a pack of crackers into the library for lunch every day of her senior year because she can't bear the humiliation of eating in the cafeteria alone. She hates her mother for moving her away from her friends and into low-income apartments. She quits school three months shy of graduation because she has missed too many days and will fail the year anyway. She misses her friends at Airport and wonders how everything got so screwed up. She can't afford college, so she gets a job. She doesn't have a car, and neither does her mother, so she takes the job at Merry Maids because it's within walking distance. Three years later what little self-esteem she had is gone because she has gotten used to being treated as "the maid" and has come to believe she's nothing more than that. She goes to church with Christina because she desperately needs a friend, but most of the time she feels as though she's just pretending. She wonders if maybe some people simply aren't meant to be happy.

Wren has found herself through being a wife and mother, something her inner feminist finds hilariously ironic. She is loved by her husband and idolized by her children. She has stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop because she is finally able to believe that this really is her life. She is no longer afraid to trust a man, and she has never felt more beautiful than when her husband looks at her in awe after the births of each of their three children. She is afraid of screwing up as a mother because she knows that it's the most important thing she'll ever do and she wants more than anything to get it right. She isn't afraid to admit to herself that she's doing a pretty damned good job. She is affectionate and kisses her kids often because she doesn't ever want them to wonder if she really does love them. She holds them "too much" when they're babies, she breastfeeds in public with confidence, and she doesn't care what anyone else thinks about her parenting style. She sometimes feels she has lost who she is as a woman, but she also feels like being a mother gives her a purpose in life. She is happier than she ever thought she could be.

I feel like I'm two sides of a coin. Wren couldn't exist without Lorri, but I feel as though I've left that girl behind. She's not who I am now. So while I know some people won't get it and will still call me Lorri, those closest to me—the ones who know the inner depths of my soul—will understand why, at the age of 31, I want to change my name and be called Wren.

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