Monday, August 10, 2009


Like a lot of dads, I have had nicknames for each of our children, especially the girls. Andrew did not get in on this as much as the others because "Andy" was too available and too obvious. That was not the case with the girls. Angela was always "my little sidekick" who delighted to go with me on visitation. I am not quite sure how it happened, but somewhere along the way I began to refer to Jennifer as "Spud." It was a silly little name for Daddy's precocious little partner who always tagged after me whenever possible. Then one day she happened to ask me, "What is a spud?" Being caught somewhat off my guard, I started to answer simply, "Well, it's a potato -" Little Mount Jennifer erupted. "A potato!" Such indignation from a four-year-old, the world has never seen. "You called me a potato?" I tried a useless explanation. "It's only a name - " She continued fuming, "A potato!!" "I didn't mean to offend you-" (That's right, sound real pastoral!) "You called me a potato! UUUUUHHHHH!" That was always her last and most exasperated expression of total disgust. So "Spud" was tossed into the potato bin of history. I never referred to Jennifer as "Spud" again until the night of her wedding rehearsal dinner. She laughed hard at the name that night. I think she has finally forgiven me. She belongs to another man now, a big strapping fellow who overshadows me, literally. (I commented to my wife, "We're not losing a daughter, we're gaining a body guard."). One thing is certain. I'm not going to refer to his wife as "Spud" if the name offends him. I need him on my side. But there will always be a place in my heart and in my memories for "Spud," and the days when childhood innocence did not take offense. Those were days when it was just me and my little partner heading off somewhere in the pick-up truck. Just "Spud" and me - days I will never forget.

1 comment:

  1. As embarrassing as this is, I'm pretty sure I was about 8 when I finally asked you what a "spud" was.... and I'm also pretty sure you still called me "Spud" after the eruption--especially if you were teasing me about something I viewed as a big deal that really wasn't that important. :)