Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why did it have to be "Pops"?

This whole thing with Topher started to get serious a couple weeks back.  I had been the kinda-sorta father figure in his life for some time, but it was starting to look like it was going to turn into more than that.  I explained to him that we had a name problem.

Topher is actually Donald Christopher.  Up until recently, he has always gone by Chris.  He hates the name Donald, as kids have teased him about being Ronald Mc- ever since he was little.  But, as I explained to him, "Chris" around my house was taken.  By my wife.  About the only person more important to me than my kids.  End.  Of.  Story.

Knowing he hated Donald, I just started calling him Topher.  This went on for about a week, and then he snapped at me about it:

"That's getting old!"

"Umm...What is?" (always, always play stupid ... just in case you are)

"The Topher thing." (aww, crap)

"Sorry...Was trying it out.  Didn't mean to make you mad."

And there it sat, for a bit, until another conversation came up.  You see, Topher has been struggling with what to call me.  "Dad" isn't working for him because he has a lot of negative history around that word.  Most of the men in his history that he's called "Dad" have ended up abandoning him or hurting him or both.  But we were getting close enough that "Doug" wasn't working either.  We googled words for Father ... and there's fewer than you think.  I liked "Matua".  He flashed on "Pops".

"Umm...that doesn't work for me..."

"Why not?" (now he's playing stupid ... damn)

"Let's just say I feel about 'Pops' about the same way you feel about 'Topher'" (get out of that one, punk!)

"hmm ... fine ... I think I can live with 'Topher', Pops!"

at which point he giggled and texted all my other kids that have cells that I was now Pops.

If it wasn't such a big step for him to trust me that much, I'd be ready to kill the little brat angry.  Mostly I'm pissed off, livid, and otherwise ready to kill he little brat bemused.  I'm proud of him for whatever steps he can take towards recovery from the situation he's been in.  My heart leaps for joy at the fact that he's starting to feel a sense of family that he hasn't had through much, if not all, of his life.

but ...

Why did it have to be "Pops" ?!?!?

There are worse things...I guess.  I'll survive this one.

        aka: goofdad ... and now, Pops!


jennifer said...

Yes, Chris is already taken, and how confusing would it be to have a girl Chris and a boy Chris? Topher is a decent solution if he can get used to it.

Emily said...

I love Topher. A totally cool name if you ask me. You definitely got the short end of the stick with Pops. But isnt that what parenting is all about? I know I dont have to tell you that we always swallow hard and suck it up for the sake of our kids. I just read somewhere (don't ask me where) that you can measure a great marriage by the number of bite marks on your tongue. Same is true for parents, don't you think? Well done. Pops.

phoebe said...

terms of endearment. you can call your rose anything it will smell just as sweet. have a great day Pops