Team KAOS: What’s in a name?

Published April 29, 2012 by insufficient mums


It would seem that most people think its a piss-take. Or at best, a mistake.

I have had only one strong supporter who heard of my name change, sent immediate support and celebration, even telling me she’d changed my name on her phone. Hard to explain how much this meant to me, as the silence from my usual support crew was deafening.

I did have one very brave friend tell me truthfully that she would encourage me to cancel this plan. Love to her. At least I know for sure what she’s thinking. I have had another friend send positive acknowledgement upon realising it had been lacking. My gratitude for her love also.

Overall concensus – Sylvie’s gone mad again. This is some mad attention-seeking behaviour. She’ll regret it…

However, I’m getting divorced. Again. I like my divorces. They always turn out better than my marriages.

Up until this point, I have kept my husband’s name, as it is also my children’s name. But its not my name. Point of fact, we actually only formalised our union with a marriage contract in the first place because our children wanted us all to have the same last name. At that time we had been quite content as a family unit without consistent branding.

Anyway, wearing my husband’s name no longer fits. But neither does my maiden name. I first married at 19. At that age I had no concept of what a different human-being I would be given 25 years of messy growth. I did revert to that name after my first divorce, but even then it didn’t quite fit.

I always felt like I was using either the name of a husband, or the name of my father.

None of these people had ownership of me. None were exceptionally loving, involved or interested.

It was my children who brought up the subject of me changing my name. I think there’s a P!nk song we listen to where she talks about her parents divorcing, and her mother changing her name. They frame their reality from these experiences.

It played on my mind. Reverting to my maiden name kinda felt like cutting my kids out. I wanted a name that held all of us. That represented the four of us, now we are no longer five.

A series of events conspired to give me the answer, culminating in a dream where the choice was obvious. (Sometimes I’m a bit slow reading subtle life messages as I charge through my day like a single parent of three kids).

I ran into a friend that I hadn’t caught up with for years. I was talking about Team KAOS, as that’s how I’ve signed greeting cards from all of us for a few years now. K.A.O.S. Kesi, Anton, Onawa, Sylvie. We were laughing about how appropriate it was for our crazy life…!

So there it was. We were already using it.

Yes, the ‘chaotic life’ thing is the first joke people make when they hear my new name. There is also the occasional “Get Smart” comment from those old enough to remember it. Yes, I already have a cat called Chaos Magik. But these weird factors were only funny really because the name does fit so perfectly.

No. I’m not changing my children’s names. Their names are their names. Their family name. We still have family photos on the wall. Their father will always be their father.

In the end, the name was already there, already in use, and waiting for me to breathe life into it. For me it holds my family. Believe me, Kaos was the best choice of acronym even given the connotations. The only other choice would have been ‘Soak’. And frankly, those connotations are more disturbing.

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