The Boy

An interesting experience last night as I had a chance to meet up with a few of you lot out there. It was a jolly affair, lots of jokes, a few stories (and lots of eh? (the pub was very loud (pity))). It was also, for me anyway, slightly shy and restrained. These are people about which you have read intimate details of their lives, and also in the reverse. I had wondered if we’d be able to look each other in the eye, or would it just be too cringingly awful.

It wasn’t, far from it, and it was a deep pleasure to meet the people behind the words. That’s one thing about blogs, you only see the side of people they are willing to write about. In person, you get to see far more, and the whole makes the image more beautiful (ok ok ok, in one case more handsome, and young, right? Young…).

One of the discussions I found most interesting was also the most short. Why did people choose their nom de plumes. There was a real range, from basic care of privacy to one of interesting depth that explained much. I realised after I hadn’t, and so today, why not?

The one I choose has somewhat haunted me. It’s a bit bizarre, not quite to the normal standard of blogging rigueur. I’ve alternatively worried (I’m a worrier me) about it sounding derivative (there are a number of “girls” out there, but oddly I’ve never seen another “boy”), or worse poncy and intellectually self important.

The reasons though are personal. When number one son was born, we were, as are most new parents, completely absorbed in our son. We actually didn’t call him his name, but then you don’t need to when you only have one. However, we didn’t realise what we were doing until he started to speak. One of his first bits of joined up words was “Da Boy wan milk”. It was then we realised we’d been calling him “The Boy” to each other. So naturally he thought that was his name. For the next year he delighted us by calling himself “the boy”.

Every time he did I found myself hoping he always kept thinking of himself that way. That he kept some link with his childhood in his mind. Life gets serious awfully fast, but I wished for him a continuing wonder at the world, and an ability to forget everything and just play. I wished it for myself too, and realised I had forgotten some of it as I aged.

Having kids is good that way, if you’re lucky you get to regress and free up that child inside of you. I don’t mean in that self help, mumbo jumbo “inner child” malarkey, but just that you get to step back and look at the world with a bit of innocence and joy. So I started thinking of myself in my mind as the boy. I stole a little bit of his world to help make mine more balanced. A conceit perhaps, and yes, a little poncy and intellectually self important, but the boy on top of my brain is alive and well.

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