No one knows his name until his last breath goes out.
Full disclosure: Nick isn’t his real name, nor is Nora my wife’s name, nor is mine Wolf Pascoe.
“I’m going to write about us,” I said to them, the day I started this blog. “I’m not going to use our real names.”
I mention my nom de plume, which I’m pleased with. Wolf was my grandfather’s name.
“Wolf isn’t a real name,” Nick said.
“Well, that’s good then. What do you want me to call you?”
“Wolf,” he said. “Wolf Pizza Parlor.”
“Maybe something different,” I said.
He settled on Nick, after the hero of Nick of Time.
Why anonymity? Because I want to preserve Nick’s privacy. Consider, for example, the matter of his adoption. This blog isn’t about adoption, it’s about fathering. But the fact is, we adopted Nick at birth. Adoption isn’t a secret, or shouldn’t be. Nick knows he’s adopted, and so do some of his friends. But adoption is private. Moreover, it’s his story, not mine. It’s up to him to decide when and to whom he reveals it.
I could choose to skirt around the subject of Nick’s adoption here, but it’s part of who he is. And I have a hope that if what I write is genuine, then others may find value in it. I don’t believe that this can happen if I start out consciously censoring myself. So, anonymity.
There’s another danger which anonymity won’t protect against. I’m pretty comfortable revealing myself in print, pen name or no. But someday, it’s possible Nick himself may read this. How is he going to react to what I have to say about us? I have no way of knowing, but I do know it’s not possible for me to conceal this journal from him.
The themes that I want to address here revolve around my attempts to be a good father. The content of the writing will chiefly reflect on me, my feelings, memories, thoughts, ideas. But Nick and I intersect. Much of what I write will bear on him. What part of myself, and what part of my thoughts about him, would be unwise to reveal to him, even when he’s older? This is uncharted territory. I have no map. I think the best I can do is to hold the problem in mind. And imagine, as I write, an older Nick reading. Which means the future Nick, as well as the present Nick, is here now, looking over your shoulder.
In sum: expect candidness here, with two provisos. You won’t know our real names. And you’ll read nothing that I wouldn’t want Nick to read someday.