Last night at the Easter vigil, as we were listening to the priest talk about his godparents, I leaned over and asked my mother, “Who were my godparents?” I was pretty sure I had the one–my grandmother, the only other person in my baptism photos–but here I was hearing it was tradition to name two.
And my mother said to me that she’d only named my grandmother. She’d only had her own grandmother, after all.
So I really am a daughter of daughters. To me, what my mother did was a feminist act, though to her it must have been tradition. Did she know how much it would come to mean to me, being the tail end of a long line of wonderful women? Did she hope that for me? I would hope it for a daughter of mine. Except for my grandfather, it’s not like the men in my family have amounted to much. I love them, but their histories are… less than sparkling. I choose to privilege my mothers’ voices over my fathers’ because I am proud to be blood of their blood. Like the Darkovan renunciates, I really am only the child of my distaff line; my middle name is a variant of my grandmother’s first name. Were I to seek confirmation in the Catholic church, I would likely take my mother’s name–all right, the Anglicised version, but still. Hers. Because it is hers as much as because I like it.
And as I was standing there, I considered for a minute the question of freemates. A wave of gratitude came over me, that I had not chosen to chain my fortunes to the first man I met and loved. I choose Sky every day. I don’t come back to him out of obligation, I come out of love. I’m not huddling close to him for the protections our partnership affords–what protections? I like fending for myself. I trust him to act in our best interests without being forced to do so by some piece of paper. This is not to say that my friends who have chosen to marry are idiots; it really is all down to the woman herself, what she feels is right for her. I don’t know that I’m going to feel marriage is right for me until many years have passed, and their passing may reinforce my desire to remain legally separate from anyone else. I don’t want to be anyone’s meal ticket, and it’s so much easier to maintain that position when nobody has a right to my assets but me. Neither do I want to be seen as leeching off anyone, once I am finally able to stand independent from my parents. What I gain, I want to gain on my own merits.