November 5th, 2005

SilverLinings?

They Call Me MISTER Holman!

It has been drawn to my attention that, since I have my real name as part of my livejournal, that I should be discrete about giving away the names of my family members. My wife already named herself goudabonbon when she started her own livejournal page a few months ago, so that will stay the same. (BTW, anyone know how to make a livejournal name link to that person's page? I thought that would be more obvious than it is.) My daughter will heretofore be known as Sweetness (because she is), and I have amended the record accordingly.

Anyhoo, I took Sweetness to the new playground at Brook Run this morning, in a fairly moneyed part of the Dunwoody suburb. It's not close to our house (not TOO far, either), but has the distinction of having MORE playground equipment in one place than any I've ever seen: multiple slide playsets, a trickling water attraction, a modest sandbox (that's Sweetness's favorite part) and all sorts of climbing-stuff that I don't know the names of. Not surprisingly, it gets PACKED. We got there around 10:10 a.m. and it wasn't too bad, but after 11 it was swarming with soccer kids. One of the playsets has three slides side-by-side, and at one point I looked over and it looked like one boys' soccer team was trying to climb UP the slides, while another boys' soccer team was trying to slide DOWN them, making a huge scrum that looked like they were re-enacting the siege of Helm's Deep.

At one point I was pushing Sweetness on one of the swings when a slightly older-than-her boy next to her started saying "Watch me! Watch me!" Since that's a near-constant refrain on playgrounds I wasn't really paying attention, until I realized he was asking me to watch him. So I said "I'm watching." Then he said "What's YOUR name, man?" (The 'man' was I guess a relative term of respect, not hippie-slang.) I thought about it for a second and informed him "Mr. Holman."

It felt a little odd. I grew up calling adults "Mr." or "Mrs.," but now that I'm a dad I'm not nearly so formal around Sweetness's li'l friends and neighbors. When the hyperactive girl down the street calls me by my first name, it feels a little too familiar, but otherwise it usually doesn't bother me. I'm sure it's a generational thing. I WANT children to have engrained respect for adults and all that, but it seems strange tell a kid to call me "Mr." -- it's like I'm putting on airs. I should just get over it, though. "That's 'sir' to you, kid."