When playing with my friends as a little girl, I remember sitting and writing our names with different last names- either those of our school crushes or movie stars or members of boy bands (I had a slight obsession with the Backstreet Boys). A few weeks before the wedding, I relived this childhood memory when Ross asked me how I would sign my new name. It was a defining moment. I had signed my name the same way for 24 years- I didn’t know how to write it differently. We moved from Greensboro to Wilkesboro during elementary school, during the critically important time when I learned to write in cursive. My cursive writing has always been very shaky, but my name was the one thing I had mastered- and now I had new letters. The flow of H-e-n-d-e-r-s-o-n had become second nature to me, although I have to admit I am still pretty rocky at “r” and “s”. But now, I had new challenges… a “w” for one thing. How do you flow a “w”?!?! Ross isn’t much help, as his hand writing looks like he missed the penmanship lesson altogether (sorry hun!). So now I will have a new doodle to work on- Katie Bowden.
Today I legally changed my name to Katie Henderson Bowden. People have been calling me Katie Bowden or KB since we got married 1 month and 2 days ago (did you forget to wish us a happy anniversary?!?!) but it felt really real today when I submitted my application to the social security office and my new name entered into the federal system.
A new name means a lot of things to me- it legally binds me to Ross. It solidifies that the wedding rings I wear are a part of me and my new identity. I am now a member of two families, as I am now a Bowden as well. I represent the Bowden family now just as much as the Henderson name I grew up carrying. It’s a big step. I texted Ross’ mom and sisters this morning, and told them that they are now stuck with me since I made it legal. The responded with “YAY!” and “No you are stuck with us!” I think I fit in quite well! (And I think Ross fits in ours quite nicely as well!)