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What Will Your Baby's Last Name Be?

I was just reading my elementary school alumni magazine and learned that when classmate Joe Himmelhoch married, he and has wife combined their last names to form Himali. Now he is Joe Himali. And his child is a Himali.

My children have my husband’s last name, but neither of us had strong feelings about this choice. I’m always interested in new ideas about how we designate our kids vis-a-vis our family names, ancestry, cultural or religious beliefs and a consideration of the new family we are forming.

The Himali’s solution struck me as an interesting possibility .

The two big trends for last-naming are: dad’s last name or both parents’ last names, hyphenated or not. The both parents option breaks with the patriarchal tradition, which is nice. But how does the hyphenated name get passed along? What last name will James Morris-Lewis  and Penny Lifton-McPherson hand down to their children?

One of the reasons we went my my husband’s family name is to carry it on; without our Lipsyte kids, there would be no more Lipsytes, an Ellis Island concoction anyway. But then we realized that might be true for my family, too. And did it matter that much to carry forward a family name?

We considered giving one child my last name, and one child his. But then that seemed like it might be unnecessarily complicated for the siblings. Also, would one kid therefore feel more ‘mine,’ less his? And visa versa.

I suppose we could have tried for Morsyte. Or Lipris. Not quite as attractive as Himali. What are some other options?  Making up a new name? My two year-old announced she’d like to be called Sylvia Crocodile from now on. Not bad.

What last name will you give your children? And has it been an easy decision?

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