One day he will call me Dad

A few weeks ago one of my dad blogger friends put something up on Facebook. It was a short post about his eleven-year-old son informing him that he wanted to call him Dad from now on. I was sitting in the parking lot in my car after a long overnight shift and I was in tears. This son, was telling his father that he wasn't little anymore. No more “Papa” or “”Daddy” but Dad, what is next using first names? I knew that soon I’ll just be Dad. But that is the way it has to be.

In our society the father-daughter relationship is talked about so much. Daddy’s Little Girl, Daddy Daughter Dances, etc. And while that bond is super important, and our relationship with our daughters and their mother’s, show them how men are supposed to treat women. And that they should expect nothing less than that.We rarely talk about father son relationships, outside of having a catch as a little boy, and then fast forwarding to having a beer together when they become legal.

But the relationship we have with our sons is really different. In many ways our sons are an idealized version of our own boyhood. Not saying that they are there to finish things that we didn't accomplish. I want my son to be an Eagle Scout, not because I didn't make it. But because I can only imagine how amazing it will be for him, to earn that honor.

My son, is all the things I was not as a little boy. Adventurous. Athletic. Loud. Fun. Brave. Curious. Bold. But he is also like me as a little boy as well. Sweet. Shy. Sensitive. Helpful. Observant. Stubborn.

Being this little boy’s father has been an amazing journey. It's not just hours spent throwing a baseball, until I can barely lift my arm. Nor sleeping in a soggy tent, on a soggy night, on a soggy minor league baseball field in Brooklyn. But it's watching him learn to become a leader. Watching him figure things out on his own. Watching him turn into a better version of me. 

Maybe part of it is my dad never got to do those things with me. I was two years younger than my son is now when my father passed. And he had been sick for a while before that, so I wasn't at an age where I was fun yet. I think those two years me and the little guy had when I was home and he wasn't in school yet, gave us a special bond. Hundreds of hours spent in Gymboree's and Target stores will do that. 

Our relationship is different than the one I have with my daughter. But that is OK. They are different people, with different needs.

He still calls me papa and daddy. But one day he won’t and as much as that will break my heart, it will be OK because I will always have my memories of the sweet little boy and look forward to making new memories with the good young man I will soon meet.

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