The Daughter has started calling me “Roger” about half the time in the past few months. It doesn’t particular bother me.
I think it came about when we were in a crowded school setting, and she called “Daddy, daddy.” But there were lots of other dads and I guess I didn’t hear it. Finally, she said “Roger!” and of course I heard that.
One of my sisters is all distressed about it because she feels as though my daughter is showing disrespect. Well, maybe, but I think she’s just testing my limits.
Interesting that she almost never calls her mother by her first name, but “Mom”, or, very occasional, “mommy.” She says that all the kids in school her age are going through the same conundrum of what to call their parents that isn’t too juvenile (Mommy, Daddy), too formal (Mother, Father) or otherwise uncomfortable.
Her class had been reading To Kill A Mockingbird, and I was struck by the descriptions in Chapter 10:
“Atticus was feeble; he was nearly fifty… He was much older than my school contemporaries.” Like the attorney, I AM too old to do all the things the Daughter wants to do. And just as Scout an Jem called their father by his first name, so does the Daughter, unless she wants something or needs something, or is tired or hurting; then it’s “daddy.”
Of course, like Atticus Finch, I do have my skills, even if the Daughter is currently unappreciative. It’s true that I don’t remember the names of the members of her favorite K-Pop bands such as BTS or Astro.
But who is helping her with algebra homework, a subject he hasn’t studied in a half century? Who can name not just the first four Presidents, primarily from listening to Hamilton incessantly, but all of them?
The difference in our ages is, of course, something I can’t change. I consider it an asset rather than a liability. There are days when I can remember a piece of history first-hand; that is useful.