One of my friends put something up on Facebook a while ago about his 11-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, reading this 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.” Just “Dad.”
What is next: using first names?
I know that soon I’ll just be Dad. I guess 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, we rarely talk about father-son relationships outside of having a catch with your son when he is little and then fast-forwarding to having a beer with him when his becomes legal.
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.
Our relationship is different from 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 my sweet little boy and look forward to making new memories with the good young man I will soon meet.