"Newman, like, Alfred E.? Or Paul?" Like Randy, which rhymes with Andy, which is Andy's new name: Randy Newman. Nancy picks Nathalie, spelling out the silent "h," and then, anxious not to completely erase themselves, calls Stevie "Avi." Still named for his father. "Not that you know your name yet, but you will. I love that you sleep all the time. I know a mother's not supposed to say that, but I do." She's out of it. I guess Nathalie is out of it. (I miss Lacey most of all, I think.) Silas, nothing rhymes with Silas, so he picks Mike. The Newman family.
Over dinner they all call themselves their new names, making virtue or at least diversion out of necessity; Shawn calls his mother Nathalie and she corrects him back down to Mom. Randy gathers up all the old ID's and ATM and library cards, everything with the old names, to get rid of them. Mike finds it the hardest to give up his license; it took him three times to pass the written test. Nathalie isn't unsympathetic -- "Mike, honey" -- but he's being stubborn. It's the love of his life, you see. What he's leaving behind.
"What you'll need, Mike, is Mike Newman's driver's license. Which could be a Class A, D, or M. Meaning Mike's license will allow him to drive trucks, and buses, and motorcycles! Which Silas Botwin's pussy license does not. You want to be an ice-road trucker, or not?"
One dumb racist joke later, they have the name and location of a fake ID guy in town. Cute pictures for the whole family, and then Randy and Mike head out to a lovely little suburban house, white siding black shutters, bicycle bell on the door. A little old lady answers and after a moment of confusion conducts them back through the house to "the Chinaman," who is her teenage son. Who is crazy looking, and after some paranoia and generally enjoyable weirdness, they pay him the balance in Hooters giftcards. It's all very strange and cute and old school.
Randy says Kaddish over a trash barrel and one by one sends the Botwins on their way, along with their IDs.
"Shane Gregory Botwin... A likable boy, with sadness in his soul. Confused, frustrated, impulsive. We mourn Shane Gregory Botwin, and say Baruch haba to Shawn Oliver Newman. May you live to see your dreams fulfilled. This is a driver's license, so you should probably learn to drive now."
She weeps, watching her sons die. Watching them be born.
"Silas Andrew Botwin, firstborn son. A green thumb. An open and willing heart. The best parts of you will carry forward. The rest we do commit to fire. And shit howdy to Mike T. Newman, no one knows what the T stands for. Mazel Tov. Here you go."
He looks at her and her heart swells; he was so kind and so generous, to the new men and the boys they left behind. Surely Nancy Price Botwin deserves an elegy at least as lovely. But you can see in his eyes she won't get it.
"Nancy Price Botwin... Farewell, Pants. And all that you were. You had many pockets."
That's it. She's disappointed; she knows she deserves nothing more and probably something less than that.
The truth is that he doesn't have the words.
"And warm, wonderful welcome to Nathalie Newman, silent H. Dancer, mother, lover of the open road."