Things can be complicated in a family with four different surnames. I'm Buchanan, Thomas is Widmann, the wee two are Buchanan-Widmanns (or is that Buchanan-Widmen?) and the three biggies are Gautiers. The younger ones in particular long for the simplicity of one family surname. I hate my kids not having the same name and it always seems ironic to me that three of my kids share a name with someone they have no contact with and who has no influence over their upbringing.
It's annoying (to say the least) when I get called Mrs Gautier, odder still when Thomas gets Mr Gautier. I guess I don't mind being Mrs Widmann, as technically I am Mrs Widmann, I just didn't change my name. I also often get Phyllis Buchanan-Widmann, which isn't my name either but many people infer that from my kids' names. And even in the 21st century I do get vibes from the more conservative members of society, that there is a mild sense of disapproval that I didn't change my name on marriage!
Marcel has been contemplating changing his name when he turns 16 and it is also something Lots has been looking into. So family dinners often degenerate into jokes about name-changing and whether we should simply invent one family surname for all of us. And then this week Anna came up with it!
So there you have it - we could change our family name to Bilinewi (bɪˈlaenwɪ)! Cool?! We'd be unique!