Nate and I were talking yesterday about a certain thing he used to do.
“I did that when I was frustrated,” he confessed.
I was prepared to write about that today. Most of the words had come together this morning, ready to be spilled out.
My computer was open to the Mission of Complex page when I vacated my seat. When I came back to work, there was Nate, scanning through recent posts. I told him I was going to write about what we talked about the day before; he was not pleased.
“No-oo-ooo,” he hiccupped. “Don’t do it. You can’t.” That is the real Nate “no,” as opposed to the other Nate “no” that serves as the default answer to any question or request.
I tried to explain to him that I thought it was OK to write about, but he persisted in his protests. This is the most difficult issue in writing the blog or, fingers-crossed, the book. How do I walk that line between respecting Nate’s privacy and telling our story to the fullest? After all, it’s my life too, but does that really matter? I don’t want to portray Nate as a freak, or humiliate him in any way, but there are parts of the tale that will make members of the family look bad, and in the book these moments must be revealed or the whole story will ring false and shallow.
That’s my take as a writer. But what of my take as a parent? Can I, should I, let the author hold sway over the father? It’s a toughie to be sure.
Not willing to give up quickly, I continued to speak with him about putting this story in the book. Not sure why I thought that would help my argument with him. It didn’t.
So, what to do? For now, I’ll let today’s planned anecdote rest. Perhaps I’ll get to it at a later date. Or maybe I won’t. Or maybe I will, and feel bad about it.