My Cats-In-The-Cradle Moment Last Night

When I put the Little Man to bed, I tell him that I will come check on him later. I usually wait ten minutes or so and go and check on him. Sometimes he’s playful, other times he’s on the verge of sleep. Sometimes, he’s philosophical. Keep in mind, the Little Man is almost 3-1/2 so “philosophical” is a relative term. Last night, on checking in on him, the conversation went like this:

“No school tomorrow, Daddy?” he said.

“Yeah, you have school tomorrow. And I have to go to work.”

“When I get to be a really, really, really big boy, I’m going to work, too.”

“And you can be whatever you want to be when you go to work.”

“Daddy, I want to be just like you.”

I was momentarily speechless. Then I recovered (slightly) and said:

“You can do that, too, but you can also be whatever you want.”

“I want to be just like you, Daddy.”

“That’s really sweet, buddy.”

That was a surreal moment. I told Kelly about it immediately afterward, but it still stuck with me this morning. I can remember telling my dad–when I wasn’t much older than the Little Man is right now–that I never wanted to call him “Dad.” I would always call him “Daddy.” Of course, that didn’t last, but I can remember the sincerity of my statement when I made it.

And I’m sure the Little Man was just as sincere.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.