For the past week, since my sons returned from visiting their father for seven weeks, I’ve had a new name. This happens every year, and I’m sure many people in joint custody situations experience something similar on a more frequent basis.
I am Dad-Mom.
Either of my sons will come up to me to say something and will address me as “Dad,” and then immediately correct themselves with “Mom” in the same tone. They do it so quickly, in the same breath, that it becomes one word: Dad-Mom. (The reverse is true when they first arrive at their father’s house for the summer visit; he is addressed as Mom-Dad for about a week.)
I love my transitional identity, and I love how the boys laugh when they say it. It only happens for a little while once or twice a year, so it’s special to me. And I guess it’s like payback for all the times I call them “Ni-Aidan” or “Ai-Nigel.” That happens all year long!