Jillson recently asked me what my "little girl name" was.
"What do you mean?" I asked her.
"I mean what was your name when you were a little girl?"
"My first name?"
"YES." (Annoyed by my slowness at comprehending the question.)
"My name was the same as it is now, " I replied. "Margaret."
"Mooom," she giggled, seeming embarrassed by my answer. "You couldn't be Margaret when you were little, that is your grown-up name."
I asked her if she meant nicknames. No.
I asked her if she meant people who change their last names when they get married. "No, Mom. I mean first names. What were you before you were Margaret?"
Rather than waxing existential, I tried to explain that people didn't have different names based on whether they were young or old, that first names are first names no matter your age, but I'm not sure she believed me. I think she thinks I am weird because I have the same name I had as a kid.
I am totally fascinated by my child's ideas. I wonder how long she has assumed that we all change our first names when we grow up. Is this a new idea or something she's held for a while? Is this--her name--just one more area in which she is trying to gain control?
Jillson informed me that she is, indeed, planning on changing her name when she grows up, like everyone else does.
"What will you change your name to?" I asked her.
"Well, I'm not sure, Mom. It's going to be really, trilly hard to decide because I really, trilly like the name Jillson."
At least I know she likes her unusual name. Really trilly.