Daddy: (n) diminutive of Dad

Approaching my produce man at the grocery store, I asked:

“When is watermelon season?”

Without thinking, he replied, “When the watermelon show up.”

I suppose when you practically live in a grocery store, you judge the seasons by what comes off the back of the truck.

In the midst of being a parent, there is a brief vapor of time when your child recognizes you, proclaims you and refers to you as “Daddy.”

It is such a safe, sweet location that you’re tempted to encourage it to expand its borders to broader vistas.

But you can’t mess with it.

It happens during a child’s perfect age–when “Dada” has been abandoned and right before you become the generic “Dad.”

Just hearing the word lets you know how valuable you are to the child.

It gives you a reassuring hug in your soul that he is not plotting, smoking, drinking and thinking of new ways to download pornography.

For after all, you are “Daddy”—”Dada” who has become so familiar that you have gained shape and presence.

Sometimes the word “Daddy” is followed by the young child climbing up on your lap, and without being prompted, giving you a hug around the neck, which lasts a little bit longer than you thought possible.

The little one calling you Daddy believes you to be a god (or at least, Santa Claus’s right-hand man).

He is astounded at how you leave the house and come back with treasures—toys, pizza rolls and little tiny things you promised you’d get if you had time.

Daddy—a word that brings tears to the eyes of any father who knows that soon his power and authority will be challenged by the revolt of adolescence.

But for now, it’s Daddy.

For now, there’s a desire to be close.

For now, the child believes he has come from you and never wants to leave.

Maybe that’s why the Bible tells us that we should approach God by saying, “Abba, Abba.”

Which, by the way, translated from the Greek, means “Daddy, Daddy.”



Bothersome: (adj) troublesome

When I was eighteen years old, I got my girlfriend pregnant. So by the time I was nineteen, I was a daddy. Perhaps better stated, a father in name only.Dictionary B

Being unprepared, unaware and barely beyond the scope of a child myself, I had no idea what to do. Matter of fact, from the time I was nineteen until I turned fifty-six, I parented seven young men–four of my own and three I adopted.

Can I tell you how I would describe the experience?



Because children do not come into the world to confirm our intelligence and prowess, but rather, to challenge it.

Yet anyone who questions my personal authority and space is annoying. If they happen to live in my house, eat the food I provide and nag me for money, it is even more treacherous.

But in the process of realizing that parenting is bothersome, you come to an understanding that living is not about finding a sense of well-being, but instead, taking the chaos, calming yourself and stilling the storm.

In doing this, you find your sense of satisfaction, purpose and achievement.

Life always arrives at eighty-five miles an hour.

It is up to you to be the traffic cop to slow it down.

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dictionary with letter A

Antenna: (n) 1. a rod or wire used to transmit or receive radio or television signals 2. a pair of thin sensory appendages on the heads of insects

A thirteen-inch black and white portable television purchased for $29.95 at a store called Buckeye Mart.

It’s all we could afford.

I was recently married, had a child, and poverty was our constant friend.

So we took the little TV set to our home, hooked it up, and attached this circular antenna, which looked like a huge paper clip, turned on the set, and got basically a snow-covered screen with a faint picture in the background.

So I fiddled with the antenna.

What I discovered was that every time I put my hand on the antenna, the picture would get better. If I removed my hand from the antenna, we went back to the snowstorm.

It was annoying.

So then I tried to dangle a coat hanger from a nearby table, lying it delicately on top of the previous antenna, hoping it would simulate the same effect as my hand.

It didn’t.

Now, my son was nearly two years old. At that age, they are still intent on pleasing their daddy. Please understand, I’m not proud of what I did–perhaps even a little reluctant to share it with you. But there was a football game I wanted to see, so I convinced my little son that he could build up muscle and prove what a man he was if he would hold up the antenna for Daddy.

Even though it did make the picture better, his constant whining and need for approval greatly deterred from my enjoyment of the game.

Finally, with his arm aching and a tear running down his cheek from obvious strain and pain, I became convicted of my selfishness and allowed him to go off in the other room and play.

Antennas are wonderful things. They allow us to connect with the outside world. But sometimes, when they don’t work, they are an aggravating reminder of the realization that things are not always what they’re advertised to be. 

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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A


Aka: (abbr.) also known as: e.g.John Merrick, aka the Elephant Man

J. R. Practix.

That’s the name on my birth certificate.

But during a brief season of playing football, I was aka “Big Jon.” Matter of fact, through high school, I was “just Jon, without an h”. I often joked that I selected the name because I wanted to “get the h outta there.” Some people thought that was funny.

  • A tiny handful knew me as “the music guy.”
  • There were those in my town who acquainted my personage with “deadbeat.”
  • Aka “Daddy,” which became “Dad”–and on more formal occasions is even announced, “my Father.”
  • Aka “Studly,” even though that was used so infrequently that I’m embarrassed to bring it up, but still, willing to propagate the myth.
  • Aka “Composer.”
  • Aka “Vagabond.”
  • Aka “Writer.”
  • Aka “Preacher”–though I was never actually able to embody the look or attributes of a parson.
  • Aka “Musician”–though I must bow my head in the presence of the true clerics of chords.

Then came grandchildren. So …

  • Aka “G-Pop.”
  • Three of my sons were adopted in my heart as god-children, and they chose to refer to me as “Pop.”
  • Aka “Husband.”
  • Aka “Lover” (in generous moments by forgiving females)
  • Aka “Business man” (unless you look at my books)
  • Aka “Traveler” (Just check my odometer)
  • Aka “Human being,” of which I am most proud.

I realize today that I have so many names associated with me that if I had a driver’s license to match each one, I would look like a criminal on the lam.

And speaking of lamb, I recommend it … with mint jelly.



Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAdonai: (n) Hebrew name for God

He said to me, “That’s Mr. Jones to you.”

He was like, four years older than me, but a real pompous type. I know it’s not a good thing to say, but I immediately hated him.

I don’t like it when people make a fuss over their titles and names. I don’t trust them. I find them insecure. And the truly great people I have met in my life have always come back when I’ve tried to call them by some proper terminology. Yes–they’ve always asked me to just call them by their first name.

It’s why i have problems with things like “Adonai.” Do you know why the Jews came up with “Adonai,” meaning master? It’s because they weren’t allowed to say God’s name.

What a stuffed shirt! Really?? I know you’re God. I know that’s special. But are you really going to insist that people use initials for you or come up with other terms so your name won’t be defiled in some way??

I just don’t buy it–because if you’re God and you’re great, why do you need to keep convincing people of your greatness? It would be like a famous actor name-dropping other famous actors around friends so as to remind them how great he is. What a jerk.

So I am not convinced that a lot of the things we believe about God are really Godly. They’re certainly not confident. And they’re definitely not benevolent. And they REEK of piety and insecurity.

I am so glad that when Jesus came to earth, he said, “Relax. Stop calling Him by all these weird names. He’s Father. He’s Daddy.”

Yes, I get a little uncomfortable in our American culture at times, when parents insist that their offspring refer to them as “sir” and “ma’am.”

Maybe it’s respectful. But it’s also annoying.

Isn’t “Dad” better? Isn’t “Mom” preferable?

So even though I know that “Adonai” is a term of reverence from Judaism, I really cannot accept a God who insists that His name be revered instead of his position as my friend and father being honored.

So maybe fear of God is a good thing, but somewhere along the line … you have to stop being scared.