Last month, we got a puppy. A small dog, he came with a big-dog name: Bruno.
At a little over a year old, he knows his name. He responds to his name.
So it was inconceivable to me when, over the weekend, my 9-year old son expressed a desire to rename our puppy Huxley.
Huxley, AKA Bruno.
To prove it was no big deal, my son yelled, "Huxley!" Right in Bruno's ear. Well, Bruno suffers from a small-dog characteristic. He's nervous. So when my son screamed the puppy's new name, Huxley, AKA Bruno, jumped in fright, his eyes bugging out at my son.
"See?" my son said.
It reminds me of a couple of years ago, when my son was really into the names "Rex" and "Jaxin" (his spelling). He loved them so much that he asked me to register him for second grade as Rex Jaxin. As if that would be all we would need to do to give him this new name.
So unlike reality, when I had to go to the courthouse and Social Security and the DMV to legally change my name after I got married. Then had to make photocopies of our marriage license and send them to all the various places to get my name changed on my bills.
If only it were as easy as my son imagines.
Then I could be Mina one day, Milla the next. Or I could try out Violetta or Persphone or Maya or Anabel or Ludivinia or Anna Maria Christabel.
My son playing imaginary basketball games for hours, complete with imaginary teammates and steady play-by-play announcing.
The hoop that my husband and I spent a whole day putting together -- incorrectly -- then taking apart and doing again. That activity almost ended our marriage, I mean, made our marriage stronger.
My husband and son intensely playing Knock Out.
My son and me playing Knock Out while I giggle the whole time from nerves, as I scurry to make a basket before my son can knock me out.
Day after day, my son wearing his various Sixers (and one LeBron James) jerseys (a birthday gift from his generous grandparents), even as the temperature drops. He just sticks a short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirt underneath.
Watching the NBA post-season as a family and having a rooting interest in the Sixers.
My son voluntarily reading books about basketball players.
The Funny Parts
My son telling me that when he grows up, he's going to be 6'10", a point guard in the NBA, and that he'll dunk so many baskets, everyone will call him Dunkin' Donuts.
My son learning about the all-time greats of the game and asking me if Michael Jordan is still alive.
My son telling me about recess at school one day, when all the kids were cheering, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" every time it was his turn to shoot. (Yes, he's also a huge WWE fan.)
My son teaching me the following new vocabulary words:
When you make a basket and all you get is pure net. As in, "Look, Dad, all I’m making are swishes!"
When you throw the ball at the basket, especially a free throw, and it doesn't even make it to the backboard or the basket. I hear this one all the time from my son when we play Knock Out. And he's not talking about his own attempts.
His passion for basketball makes me think about my own passions -- and whether I feel that passionate about anything in my life.
I know I did when I was younger.
But since I became a mom, a puppy owner, and a full-time corporate worker bee?
But I really want to.
Now that my son is getting older, I think it's time for me to start rediscovering these things about myself.