When we take the bus home from preschool, one of the bus stops we pass by is our last name. The feminine form, specifically, minus one diacritic. Used to have a friend who lived there.
We've been by several times, but yesterday as they announced it on the bus, K said, "[Last name]? It's our stop!!" I told her yes, it's ours, but we aren't getting off there. I laughed because I've always felt a certain affinity with it, too.
Compare that to life in any other country: no one can pronounce our name and you would certainly never name a bus stop after us. I spent so long mispronouncing my own last name for the benefit of English ears (i.e. anglicizing it so people would understand) that I accidentally did it a few times here in Prague, too.
People could usually handle K's name because we use two forms of it: we call her the CZ/SK form and we tell English speakers to call her the English form. That's one reason I call her K on this blog, actually, because both forms start with K! And then people end up calling her (Slovak) K anyway, because they hear us doing it.
You never meet another K anywhere else, but here, K is actually something like the 7th most popular name for girls (or was when she was born). We've already met multiple K's in Prague. In our search for a name to fit three languages I guess we forgot to consider she might be one of two or three K's in her kindergarten class. Not a big deal though. The point is all relevant family members can pronounce and spell it. Unlike our last name.
My point? I think it's wonderful to be in a place where people recognize your name. Where instead of, "What was her name again??" they say, "Oh, K, that's my sister's name!" I think it's great for K (and us) to see our last name as the name of a bus stop. It makes it normal. Just another name, and we're just another family.
There are enough things about us that are different; I am happy that I can bring up my daughter in a place where something as simple as her name can be "normal". I want to make this a place where she can feel like she belongs.