Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
I’ve never called my son “Buddy.”
No, it’s not that I’m one of those parents who takes things too seriously; proclaiming that calling my son such a casual nickname will cause him to respect me less in the long run.
Nor am I bitter that my dad wouldn’t let me get a My Buddy doll when I was a kid in the Eighties, so therefore I just boycott the word altogether.
Ultimately, I just don’t think I have the right personality for it. I watch my good friend (and the most talented photographer I know) Joe Hendricks play with his son:
“Hey there little Buddy! Look at you starting to walk! That’s my main man! What a champ!”
That will never be me. I’ll never talk like that. I could never pull it off.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
It’s just that my friend Joe is more of a Buddy kind of guy than I am or ever will be.
He is the epitome of the nickname “Buddy.” Not only does everyone I know happen to know Joe, but he’s the kind of guy you want to be your friend if he’s not already.
As for me, I’m more an introvert/extrovert hybrid. And I never refer to my own friends by that word. I never say, “Yeah, last weekend me and one of my buddies…”.
I use the much less interesting and affectionate term, friend, instead for my… friends.
So what word do I use for my son when I am talking to my him?
As I unpack my subconscious on this, I realize that I enjoy reminding myself that I am his father. I find a lot of my value as a human being in being a dad.
I suppose I choose son because it makes me feel good about myself. It carries this idea of mentorship, especially when I use it to instruct him:
“Alright Son, pick up your toys, then we can go downstairs and watch Elmo.”
“Son, come with me. We’re going to try out our new jogging stroller.”
“You have a good night, Son. I love you.”
To me, the word carries a lot of emotional and spiritual meaning with it. Plus, it goes without saying that packaged into the word son is friend.
But it’s all personal preference and it doesn’t matter in the end.
The dads who call their son “Buddy” are doing what’s right for them and their relationship with their son, as are those of us who use another name instead.
People show affection and emotion in different ways. And I think all this talk right now about a man calling his son “Buddy” is just simply a reflection of that.