Privacy seems like such a quaint concept nowadays. There really isn’t much you can’t find out about a person if you have WiFi. And many people don’t mind your being all up in their business (That’s why we have reality TV “stars”). But I mind. And so, to maintain the illusion that I have control over my own privacy, names are changed to protect the innocent. By “innocent”, I specifically mean my two children. In the literary world, my kids are called Gabriel and Sage. Those are not their real names; I made them up. If you know me personally and know the real names of my kids, I ask you to keep that to yourself. Why? Because they are not adults and they are not public figures. Because they deserve to grow up and be goofy and awkward and have first dates without the entire free world knowing who they are. Because they have not given me or you permission to use their names.
That said, my children are two of my favorite subjects. I cannot abstain from writing about them. If I were a painter, I would paint them. But I’m a writer. The written word is my way of taking snapshots of their childhoods. To the best of my ability, I try to portray them with emotional truth. I try to capture their essence, which is way more important than the names on their birth certificates.