My name is Alan Kercinik. I’m an almost-lifetime Chicagoan. I like superheroes. I cheer for the Cubs, even though they break my heart. I work in marketing. Movies from the 40’s and 50’s are probably my favorite kind of movies. And I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to be a writer and a dad.
When we had our first son, Jack, in March of 2009, I was inspired in a lot of ways. About one month later, I decided to start blogging about fatherhood. This is what I said at the time:
If I’m going to teach him that his dreams are worth chasing, then I need to do something about my own. There’s nothing worse than telling someone to, “do as I say, not as I do.” I’ve wanted to be a writer for about as long as I can remember. I’ve shared my writing with … well … my wife. With that kind of track record, how could he ever believe me when I tell him that he can do anything he really wants?
But what to name it? Always Jacked worked on two levels. Name of the boy. Description of my emotional state. At the time, I couldn’t imagine that we’d have three kids. And that they would all be boys.
I’ve thought a lot, about changing the name of the blog. Because I would never want my other two sons, Reid or Cal, to think that Jack was my favorite. These are the things I imagine angry teenaged versions of them yelling at me, “Of course you love him best. He’s the one you blog about!” That is, if blogging will still be a thing when they’re teenagers and we’re something other than meat batteries for our robot overlords.
But for each son we’ve had, I’ve only had more reason to be so … well … jacked about this job of parenting. I didn’t really know what I was blogging about when I started — I thought this little enterprise would be about writing and book reviews, too, because the internet needs more critics — I’ve come to a vision for the thing. Because as much as I share these thoughts with anyone who’s interested in reading them, this is really three books.
Three books I’ll bind up, when my kids go off to college or wherever else life takes them when they leave us. Books they can page through when they’re scared or lonely or unsure. Books that tell them just how much they mean to me. Books that show just what an impact being their father had on me.
I have other writerly aspirations. Novels. Essays. Screenplays. But this is the most important writing I’ll do. And I want them to know that. Always.
Alan T. Kercinik