Ana Cristina, or The Royal Princess of Hialeah

“Tell me the story again, mami.”

“OK, m’ija, but then it’s time for bed.”

My name was almost not my name. It comes from my mother’s mother: Ana. But the compound name, the complete name, Ana Cristina, was an accident. An afterthought.

“I wanted to name you Ana, after my mother.”

“I know that, mom.” The roll of eyeballs very dramatic, for effect.

“But your father, he wanted to name you Ana Rosa. Imagine!”

“OK, so what happened?”

“Well, I was pregnant with you, and watching TV, when all of a sudden they announced the birth of a new princess to the Spanish royal family. And do you know what her name was? It was Ana Cristina! That’s when I knew, I absolutely knew what to name you.”

“Thank God you didn’t listen to dad, mami, or I would have had to change my name!”

Although I like my name now, I didn’t always. I used to pretend it was only Ana. Sometimes I would lengthen it, change it. I was briefly reinvented as Anabelle. But that didn’t stick.

Now I wear my name with pride. It fits me just right.

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