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2.23.2011

Call me Ish

Tio has taken to calling me by my first name. Not all the time and more recently I get 'Jean' (French for John). He tried out a variety of nicknames that didn't work (Goose was a particularly bad one) and finally decided my real name would work for the time being. He still switches to Grampy often enough.

Tish would prefer they call her Grammo but I've never been a stickler for titles. Buddy and Sugar used my name when they were young and then came back to Dad and Pa respectively once they wore the idea out. I did the same thing when I was 12 calling my mother Janet. She gave me a queer look but didn't complain. It was intermittent, resurfaced when I was a young adult and now I call her Ma. Have done for scores of years. I think I was just asserting some independence and when I found it I returned comfortably to a term of endearment.

I know a lot of people take exception to having their kids call them by their names, even consider it disrespectful. Especially step-parents who desperately want to be accepted by the child. But I'm not so sure it really should be about the name. It's about who you are and how you connect.

I'm part parent, part friend, part Grampy, and a dash of whothehellknowswhat. I guess you could put any name you like to that combo. Kit likes Grampopotumus, Doc goes for Grampo, and Tio thinks Jean is the bees knees. If there's a dose of affection in the name and how they use it, I'm okay with that.

Just don't call me late for dinner.