I wanted to name my son Apollo since I was a much younger (“younger” as in back when I smiled. Smirking is now my default facial expression. I blame adulthood, being a Mets and Cowboys fan, and Lynnette’s reneged promise that I could name my son Apollo.) man. Anyway, a little over 6 months into Cole’s life, it’s probably for the best that I didn’t go through with christening my only son with the name of Greek god.
“Look at this boy!” Lynnette said as she walked into the living room with Cole in her arms. “This boy you wanted to name the Sun God!” she continued. I looked at Cole’s visage. He wore an expression of confusion and glee, which – it should be said – is not uncommon. “It’s a good thing we didn’t name you the Sun God, huh, Cole Boy?” Lynnette said. Cole smiled and laughed. He didn’t understand a thing Lynnette said, but he was pretending to listen, just like I do. Still, in time, he’s gonna have to learn that most crucial and critical lesson: the worst, worst, worst is when Lynnette is right.
Cole’s appearance and demeanor do not reflect the qualities of the Sun God, mostly because Cole only reflects my qualities. He’s silly, chubby, easily amused, quirky, chubby, noisy, and chubby. Lynnette refers to Cole as ” your Sun God” ironically when Cole does something decidedly un-Sun God. It’s how I always refer to Abby as “your dog” when speaking to Lynnette when the former takes a dump on the carpet. Again. Just now, this very second, she said. “Your Sun God just found his pacifier and is looking in the mirror. He’s happy as a clam.” She does this to burn me. I don’t know if this is what marriage experts mean when they say “liven the relationship up,” but damn if it doesn’t work. I get nahtz. And if you know me, it murdered a small piece of my soul to type that word in that way. This is what Lynnette does to me.
Perhaps some part of me wanted to name my hypothetical son Apollo for so long because the name subconsciously represented everything I am not. It sounds cool, which is pretty much the antithesis of “Phil” (thanks, Karen). The associated ideas are lofty. Medicine. Poetry. The golden orb that rules the sky yet still drags its warm fingertips across the greater face of the earth. There’s still time, I suppose. But for right now? He’s Baby Phil or Phil, Jr. or Phil 2.0, and that’s pretty damn cool, too.