Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Father Murphy

There's something about nicknames that appeals to me. I named my boys Griffin and Cooper in part because I knew I'd end up calling them Grif and Coop (actually, I thought we'd call Griffin "Fin" - but that never caught on).
I'd turn down a name if I didn't think we could change it somehow. Sean's hard to turn into a nickname, but all the Murphy boys end up being "Murph" anyhow.

I'm trying to get Grif to call me Pop...but that's just confusing with drinking pop and jumping up and down on pop.
Sport was a popular nickname for boys back in the 50's. Maybe I could bring that back. I'm pretty bad at names, so for awhile I was calling people Dude, Chief, Cap'n, Fella, Tiger. I've done it so much that when Charlie (not Chuck) calls me buddy, I just assume he doesn't know my name. Turns out he calls everybody buddy.

My dad used to call me buddy and it sort of bugged me when my brother started calling my nephew buddy. It just sounded wrong. And yet, I find myself calling Griffin buddy. He's even taken to calling Cooper buddy. I'm trying to break that cycle, but it's hard.
Names are funny. They say that everyone's favorite word is their own name. You could be deep in conversation when someone across the room utters your name, and somehow you hear it. We love our names....even if we say we don't like them...we kind of love them. We love it when important people know our names. It's nice when someone addresses you by name. It's important to us.
I was on jury duty once when the attorney for the big murder trial dismissed me because he knew my dad. There were a lot of people in Columbus who knew my dad and it always brought me a sense of pride when someone said they knew him. He was kind of a big deal there and it almost made me feel like a celebrity, just because he was MY dad.

Typically I'd say that it's kind of shallow to find your identity in a name...or a relationship. A perfect example of that is in the royal family. I still don't get why people care about what the Prince or Queen are up to. They're just people who were born. That's really all they can claim. And as much as it seems shallow, I can identify with being proud of who my dad was.
In the same way, I think we can all soak in the fact that each of us is a child of God.
That really changes everything. "You're dad's the prince? My dad's the God of the Universe" Maybe I'd be a little less jealous if I soaked in that. If I could truly find my identity as one who is loved by the Almighty...maybe I wouldn't get so wrapped up in the petty things that tend to drag me down.
Our Father in Heaven? He's my pop...

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