It was back in the late 90s, when kid was born. December 3rd, 1998 in North Carolina. I was right there with his mama when it happened. Lord knows that woman could take on a bear. You bet she took on pregnancy like she would a bear. She said no epidural, just bring it on. I sat there and held her hand (no way in hell I was going to be on the business end of live birth) while the Kid was born. I’m telling you all of this because many people assume I was out eating fried bologna sandwiches and ignoring my son’s birth because of what happens next.
“Well you are a brand new father Mike. Have you and your wife picked out a name?” the doctor asked me as we watched
“We talked about this. We decided to do something a little unorthodox” I told him.
“Uh oh. You better not pick some random name like Jxqm”
“No no. See we decided to name him… nothing” “Nothing? What kind of a name is Nothing?” “Not nothing Doc. We don’t want to name him” “Mike… you can’t… what do I put on the birth certificate?” “I guess just put “Kid”
“”Kid”. Alright. Kid”.
That’s how Kid got his temporary name. Cause I guess we, as human beings, need a label on damn near everything. One of the first conflicts came up at school. He was in first grade when we got called into a parent
“Mr and Mrs Miller. We are concerned, no, confused by your son’s behavior”
“What seems to be the issue? We’ll straighten him out if we need to”
“I’m not sure how to explain this. He refuses to give us his name. Or rather he refuses to accept
“Oh. There’s a simple explanation for all of this. He doesn’t have
“I beg your pardon?”
“We did not want to give him a name. We use “Kid” as a place holder. “Did you hear what the Kid did?”, “we got hauled into a meeting with the Kid’s teacher”. That kind of thing”
“May I ask an ignorant question? Why does he not have a name?”
“When he was born we didn’t feel it was right to pick a name for him. We hardly knew the boy and we were supposed to pick what the world would call him for the rest of his life? It didn’t sit right with us”
“I understand the child is not ours and unfortunately the decision of his name is traditionally up to you the parents, but what are we supposed to call him?”
“Call him Kid. He’ll know who you mean and soon enough the other kids will too”
“Can we call him the child? We don’t want to promote the use of the word “kid”. Kids are baby goats, not children”
“I believe that will work. As long as the kid’s alright with it”
He was. The other kids still called him the kid but it worked out fine.
Kid’s first name he chose was Superman. We told him when he was 18 we would take him to the courthouse and have his name legally made into whatever he wanted. When he was six, the name was Superman. This time the teachers just went along with it, and most of the other kids did too. Except this one annoying little…. you’ll see.
“Superman? What kind of name is Superman?”, Superman said the other kid said.
“It’s my name”,
“That’s a dumb name. You’re parents must be dumb”
“My parents aren’t dumb. And they didn’t name me this either. I did”
“But you can’t name yourself Superman. There’s already
“Your name is Steve. There’s already another Steve in our class and he’s a few months older than you. You still are named
“But you aren’t Superman. I’m Steve and the other Steve is also Steve. But you aren’t Superman”
“You’re an asshole but they didn’t name you after what you are
Superman had his mouth washed with soap for that. They tried to make him apologize but he refused, so he had his mouth washed out again. After school we went to Dairy Queen and I patted him on the back.
“I love you kid”
“I love you too dad but
He picked a few different names before he turned 18. He liked the Harry Potter series so he named himself Neville for a hot minute. He tried Napoleon after the general and the dynamite. He tried George on for size, just to try a typical male. There were a few like that. None of them stuck. But it was his 18th birthday and it was time. We put a big line of icing on his cake where his name would eventually be iced on.
“So son, what do you want it to be”
“I’ve thought about this for 18 years dad. And after all of it I think I like Kid the best”
“Really?” I asked.
“Yeah. People have called me Kid all my life. It’s the name I know. It’s the name I love. I’ve tried out a million different names. But none of them fit me. What name did I turn to every time I tried out a name and didn’t like it: Kid. I want to be Kid. I am Kid”
His mama started writing on
“I love you Kid” I told him.