I went to school the other day and asked them to change my kids’ names! 

Here in Mexico, everyone’s surname is usually Father’s Name then Mother’s Name (no hyphen), and when she is married, a woman usually just keeps her Maiden Name and doesn’t add her husband name to the mix. Their children then are given a new last name using the surnames of both grandfathers.

For example, Juan & Maria.  Juan’s name is Juan Munoz Ramirez.  Maria’s name is Maria Melendez Posada.  Their children have the last name Munoz Melendez.  To make things both easier and harder, for the most part, in informal situations, most folks use just the first surname.

When we got married 11 years ago, I went old-school and decided to take Hubby’s last name, no hypens or combos or anything.  When we arrived here in Mexico and registered the girls for school, we registered them using just Hubby’s last name, since that is what the girls are used to using.

Problem: The school’s computers aren’t set up for our tradition (go figure!), so everything related to school has the girls’ last name written as “Doe Doe”.  It looks ridiculous.  Worse, sometimes teachers have had the girls’ write their name that way on papers and projects, especially our 5 year old who can’t properly articulate her reason for protest.

So the other day I went and asked them to change the second Doe to my maiden name.  The girls are both amused and confused – they have no clue how to spell it – nobody does!  Strange also is the fact that it seems backwards. Had I chosen to hyphenate my name as so many of my girlfriends have, it would have been the reverse of what the girls now have.  They can go back to being plain old Doe’s in 2010!