So, I'll tell you a tale.
The Mischievite was sitting next to me in the truck, one morning, as we took the slow route past the University on our way to meet a friend for lunch. He was chatting about this or that and I was only partway listening until he announced, as all kids inevitably do, "I don't like my name."
I chuckled to myself and responded appropriately. "I'm sorry, I think it's a pretty fantastic name, that's why I gave it to you."
But the Mischievite was having none of that. He really didn't like his name. He really wanted a new name.
"I wish my name was Dinosaur Man."
"Dinosaur Man, huh?"
I tried not to giggle. He was being serious, after all. I looked over at his forlorn little face and my heart melted just a smidgen.
"Well, how about if that's your name for the rest of the day? Would you like it if I only called you Dinosaur Man today."
The Mischievite's eyes lit up into two twinkling orbs. "Yes!"
So, it was decided. The Mischievite was no more. At least, until we got to McDonald's. Then he leaned over and whispered to me, "Mom, don't call me Dinosaur Man in front of anyone, okay."
"Oh," I whispered back, "I get it, it's like a super secret name. Okay. Only when we are in the truck."
He nodded matter of factly and out of the truck we climbed and so our day went. Every time we got in the truck I would only refer to him as Dinosaur Man, every time we got out of the truck I would use his real name. My day became fill with the extreme pleasure of watching those eyes twinkle again and again as we ran our errands.
No one knew it, either. Not once did I mention to the people I saw the sweet little game we were playing. This was our game and ours alone and I had made a promise to my Dinosaur Man.
In return for my discretion, the Dinosaur Man bequeathed me with my own name. Dinosaur Mom.
I was honored.
And then, at the end of the day, when we got back to the house the Dinosaur Man leaned over and said, "Dinosaur Mom, I don't want to be Dinosaur Man anymore, you can just use my real name."
"Are you sure?" I asked seriously.
"Okay, but just so you know I like calling you Dinosaur Man."
"I know Mom. I know."
And so passed into history the gentle creature known as Dinosaur Man--and his mom.