You’re lucky. Your middle name was slated to be “Atticus” until weeks before you were born. You see, I was an English Major in college, and I was at the very height of my self-entitlement phase (whether it’s ended has yet to be determined). So I was convinced that you needed to have strong, literary names.
The point of Holden was two-fold: Catcher in the Rye, while being somewhat overrated, was something I cherished at the time. I still do, really. The main character, Holden Caulfield, was disrespectful, bull-headed, and had a serious issue with authority. I like to think there is a charm in the arrogance that comes with youth. When you’re young, you know you’re at your absolute smartest, every single day. One day rolls forward and you’ve acquired more than enough knowledge to take on life’s big challenges. It’s fool-hearty, but in the most respectable way. We should all maintain a small degree of arrogance that we have the power to break the rules, challenge norms, and change the world. We lose that as we age.
Cooper was actually a late entrance to the party. James Fenymore Cooper wrote The Last of the Mohicans. The truth is, we just liked the name. It wasn’t until Nate mentioned the author that it was solidified. We were sitting at a bar (yes, your mother and I went out when she was pregnant) when the revelation occurred. You should take some time to listen to the soundtrack to the movie, it’s pretty killer. Also, Daniel Day Lewis has an incredible performance in the flick, you’ll dig it when you’re a little older.
I say that to say this: our life intertwines with literature in more ways than you can imagine yet. Many decisions are made every single day, but I promise you, you aren’t the first one to have to make it. There are many instances of all of life’s problems compressed onto dead trees, and many of the people documenting these problems are much more intelligent than we—me because I know my own intelligence’s limitations, you because you can’t say much more than “bubbles” right now.
So we read books together. I had planned on doing it more often than I do. But you never sat still when you were younger. You just wanted to flop around. But when you’re getting really sleepy at the end of the night, you’ll let me read a book to you now. I’ve practically got Are You My Mother? memorized at this point. It’s a pretty good read, but the abandonment theme makes me anxious.
You’re going to find it difficult one day, when I expect much from you with reading and writing. I will do my best to instill a love for books and literature and adventure and words… There is so much knowledge to be gained, which is why we read, because we aren’t dumb.