Be Careful What You Name Your Children

I failed again today. It happened in a moment of anger with my son. He was baiting his younger brother into an argument (again) and I had had enough. “You are a manipulator,” I told him. “You’re a bully.” In order to understand how big a failure this was, you have to understand that the dominant ongoing conversation Rachel and I have had lately is around exploring the theme of identity. We’re writing a story in which a character’s accepted identity is the driving force behind her actions, first negatively, then positively. We’ve discussed all those antagonistic voices that speak to us in our culture and the monologues of pessimism that play in our heads like a broken record of […]