A Juneau girl is getting an “awesome” name change.
Lisa C. Flores is petitioning a judge to legally change her daughter’s middle name to “Awesome.” The judge will decide whether to approve the name change for 2 1/2-year-old Viviana Contea Flores during a hearing next month.
Lisa Flores said she filed the petition to keep a promise to her son.
The 36-year-old City and Borough of Juneau employee promised her then-11-year-old son Dominic that he could name his baby sister.
“The big reason why I wanted to do this is because when I got pregnant, she was a surprise, and the father didn’t stay in the picture for very long,” Flores explained. “My son was very supportive, and I thought it was a good opportunity to give her the name he chose and to recognize my son for all of the help he gave.”
Awesome wasn’t Dominic’s first choice for a name. Danger was.
“I said Danger Flores is a great name, but I didn’t want a child to live up to that name, so I send him back to the drawing board,” Flores laughed.
Dominic, now 13, said he came up with Awesome as a middle name because he thought it would be “cool.”
“‘My middle name is Awesome,’ that’s what I want her to say,” he said with a smile. “It’s just one of those childhood things, like I always wanted my name to be Awesome.”
Flores didn’t have any reservations about her daughter’s middle name being Awesome, but her friends and family did, she said.
“A lot of people were like, ‘Oh, no, you don’t want to do that to her,’” she said.
The mother agreed that “Awesome” may be “a little too challenging” as a first name, but as a middle name, it was fine.
“I kind of felt like a middle name is one of those things where you can share it with somebody or you don’t have to,” she said. “So her middle initial will be ‘A,’ and people will assume it’s Alice or Ann or something like that. And if she wants to say, ‘No, Awesome is my middle name,’ then that’s completely up to her.”
Flores promised Dominic that Awesome would be Viviana’s middle name, but at some point during the pregnancy, she began leaning more toward Contea. After she gave birth, that’s the middle name she wrote on the birth certificate.
About a month after Viviana’s birth, Dominic approached his mother and expressed disappointment that she didn’t choose the middle name he picked for Viviana.
“I was in labor, I was tired and I had forgotten about our agreement,” Flores said.
She realized that her son was right, and began saving money to legally change Viviana’s middle name. It’s an expensive process, she noted. It cost about $150 to submit the forms for a name change, and then it cost about $200 to advertise it in the weekly newspaper for four weeks, which is a legal requirement.
The approval hearing will take place in court on July 7. Flores said she hopes it goes well.
“Awesome was really what her middle name was meant to be,” she said.
• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.