Sunday, September 21, 2014

Papihood - Notes from my Papi

My father was named Papi.  I never called him dad, or daddy, I din’t call him father much either.  He was always, and always will be, Papi.  Non-Latino friends of mine made funny faces when they heard me call him.  “What did you call your dad?”  But even so, that was my Papi.  The man who embarrassed me with his loud gritos out of open car windows in stopped traffic.  My Papi, who taught me through dialogue and discussion, through critical analysis, huge smiles, and loud laughs. Papi, who taught me through his actions and habits even when he didn’t mean to.

My father died on June 30th, 2006.  I found a notebook a few years ago in which he had written some observations of his for me to read when I was older.  I am not sure when he had intended to give me the notebook, but it struck me as an interesting idea, writing notes for my children to see and reflect on later in their life.

I have three boys and now my name is Papi (and S-dad, I will have to explain later).  It seems strange sometimes, but most of the time it feels completely natural.  My Papi’s shoes are huge ones to fill; I’m not sure my grito is up to snuff.  

My first step toward being a great Papi  for my children is to leave my father’s shoes for him to fill, that way I can focus on filling my own shoes, and allowing my sons to fill theirs.

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