About 10 years ago I stopped calling my dad “dad” and started calling him “pop.” I’m not entirely sure why I did that. I know it was partially due to the influence of a friend who had always called his dad “pop” but I don’t know… I just used it one day and it stuck.
The funny thing about changing my dad’s name to pop was that he never really mentioned it. He never said, “what did you call me?” or “where did that come from?” He just rolled with it. The first time I he ever mentioned it was when my sister was pregnant with her first child. As my sister and her husband were trying to come up with names for their baby, all the grandparents were feverishly trying to come up with their own name… for themselves. When talking to my dad he told me that he had settled on “Pop” as his official grandfather name. It made me smile. I asked him what made him come to that name. He explained that he couldn’t be pop-pop because that was his dad’s grandfather name and since I had been calling him pop lately, he kinda liked it. That made me smile.
Asher mostly calls me da-da, but he’s be experimenting with using “dad” as well. It makes me smile when I hear him call me dad. Not so much because he is calling me a name that I prefer, but rather it is really cool to watch my son grow up.
I think the name change is part of his process of growing and learning. He’s testing things out and making choices about who he is and how he relates to the world. It is exciting and scary at the same time. Today it is the choice between da-da and dad. As the years go on it will be much more important things than that. While we have many years and choices to go through, my greatest hope as a father is that Asher (and Grace) come to know and trust Jesus. For me, this is what being a dad is all about… To love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and to love my wife and kids by leading them to Him.
Well, I’m starting to smell the bacon upstairs so Happy Fathers Day to all who bear the name… no matter what it sounds like.