Please stop calling me Buddy. I don’t like it.
At first, I was afraid to say anything because you’ve used the nickname since I was little. Now I’m 9 ½ and Buddy sounds weird. It’s embarrassing.
I was also worried I would hurt your feelings. You always seem so excited to call me Buddy. I can tell it means a lot to you. I think you think calling me Buddy automatically brings us closer together.
It really doesn’t.
I know you love me when you sing to me in the morning, sneak a hug and a kiss on the corner before school, helped me wash the toenail out of my eye after it shot up off the clipper, taught me how to follow my basketball shot, pay me allowance, cook me perfect pasta, and stay for a cuddle talk at tuck in.
Like you always say, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Another thing; why do you call me Buddy when you’re mad? Buddies are supposed to make each other happy, but every time you say
“Shut the Wii U off now, Buddy.”
“It’s late, Buddy. Go back to bed.”
“Buddy come on, you left the student planner in your desk, again?”
with a growl or snake-eyed glare, I only feel scared and to be honest, a little angry myself. The whole thing doesn’t make sense.
Know what else? I like my name. I like when you say my name. I remember the story of how I got it. You decided in eighth grade that if you ever had a son you would name him after your grandfather. And you did. So why don’t you use it? You wouldn’t like it very much if I called you Red instead of Mom. That’s not respectful.
The definition of Buddy is “a close friend.” For real. I Googled it.
Mom, I have friends. I wasn’t a natural at making friends, but you showed me how to introduce myself, share, and speak up. And when I felt shy about joining classmates in the block center or had a hard time sitting at a crowded snack table in preschool, you got me a helper teacher. Now I’m good.
William from the baby playgroup, the kids in my class, the boys I have snowball fights with on the walk home from school, and the guys from my team; these are my buddies.
The ladies you meet for lunch and a chit chat, Daddy on date night, and that funny guy who fist pumps and belly dances in an elf hat at CrossFit; those are your buddies.
Maybe when I’m in college or living in my own apartment we will be close friends.
Right now, I need you to be my mom.
So please stop saying Buddy. I know it’s different and might be a tough habit to break, but you can handle it.
I Love You,
I never got into the habit of calling my children Buddy. Bubbe, Big Guy, Skootch, Kiddo, and Bubbeleh yes; but never Buddy. If I had, I hope that one of them would write me this letter.