Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Rose By Any Other Name

We spent far too much time deciding on our third child's name, because he never seems to go by it these days. He has, from early on, played with his identity, and been very steadfast in his desire to "be" other characters. I can accept all the blame for this, as I spent a year or so as Mighty Mouse at around his age, became a Witch during my elementary years, and then changed my name at eighteen. My parents were told I had "too much imagination" by my kindergarten teacher, and perhaps our youngest takes after my side of the gene pool.

I like to think he has a future in the arts.

His current moniker is Zelda. You know, as in Toilet Princess, aka The Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess, another in the long Zelda lineage. He believes that Zelda is a younger version of Link, the hero of the video game, that his older brother is Link, and that he will become Link when he grows up (when he doesn't think he will grow up to be me).

Before the new video game arrived, he was a Chameleon, an identity that spontaneously developed when he and a small friend were playing under the table as I was having a visit with the small friend's mother at a restaurant. It was no doubt filthy under there, but they were happy.

Before he was a Chameleon, he was a Fire-seal, a super-powered aquatic mammal that could defend itself with a shield of fire. I think we can safely blame big brother for this.

Before that, he was simply a harbor seal, a barking baby seal, full of big-eyed love, an identity spawned by our travel to Vancouver Island, and the role dead seals played in our vacation--one shot by a fisherman and washed up on the shore, the other a still-born baby found on the reef at low tide. We saw lots of live ones as well, but they didn't seem to make as great an impression.
The seal identity was a fortuitous one, as we had a gray seal fleece costume in our box of Halloween leftover that fit him, and which he wore for weeks at a time. He made a sweet seal.

He is also very clear who he is not; he is not "Mr." or "baby" or "Sir" or "Young man" or any of the other things strangers or friends want to call him occasionally. It used to be that he would lash out angrily when these mistakes were made, but he's above that now, and patiently corrects those who would call him by an incorrect name. He corrects us when we call him by his actual name, most of the time, but corrects us as if he understands and forgives this natural mistake.

I wonder who will wake up in his body next.

On the laptop: eHow to Tell People You're a Writer
On the easel: Azul the Great Dane, #2
On the art table: Tangerine the white cat
On the nightstand: How to Write a Damn Good Mystery
On tape: Death of a Perfect Wife
On my mind: Suddenly screenwriting--should I spend next month writing a first draft of my mystery The Sexy Mother, or should I adapt my memoir, The Brides of March: Memoir of a Same-Sex Marriage, into a screenplay in time for the context deadlines? or should I spend it doing a last edit on the book preparatory to self-publishing it? Or should I focus on magazine work? Or will February be swallowed up in sickness, birthday bashes and having a wife out of town? Tune in tomorrow...

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