Today is Father's Day. My eleventh one. And The Boy still calls me Daddy. I've tried the last couple of years to suggest he's getting a bit old for that now, and that he might want to call me Dad. He will agree, and state that from now on he will call me Dad. And then continue to call me Daddy.
I suppose in his mind it makes no sense. Why should I have suddenly changed my name? To him, I might as well have woken up one morning and spontaneously declared from that day forth I wish to be known as Janet.
It doesn't bother me being called Daddy - it's only for his benefit really. I guess it's me wanting him to conform a bit more again - it's just another little quirk that marks him out as different. He's tall for his age, and given the amount of screaming he does at the injustice of the world, he has a deep, husky voice to match. Throw into the mix a lack of volume control and a penchant for some tastier words in the English language and suddenly the word 'Daddy' at the end of the sentence just seems really out of place.
He will use the word 'Father' too, if he feels the situation needs some gravitas. He learnt it from Star Wars. "I am your Father... I am your Father" he used to repeat constantly to anyone who'd listen. Nowadays its use tends to be saved for when he's angry with me, when a more formal declaration is required. "I wish I had a nice father!", or "I wish you weren't my father!". It's always accompanied with a howl and a pained expression on his face that Judi Dench would be proud of. Saved for really extreme, seemingly life-or-death occasions, such as when I suggest we might sit together to eat our dinner, or he might want to pick that piece of lego up from the floor.
It's all just words though, isn't it. It doesn't really matter what he calls me. In the rich tapestry of life he will forever be the thread that binds it all together. On days like today I'm reminded that he might not express his love in the conventional sense. But it's always there... in everything he does. Just below the surface. The force is strong with this one.
I am YOUR Father, son. And no prouder Daddy could there be.
Happy Janet's Day.
This blog is about bringing up The Boy. He's 12 years old and autistic. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.