This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
Will needs a nickname.
I had one growing up. Everyone called me “Gooba.” It started while I was at summer camp and the counselors couldn’t pronounce “Gouveia,” which is my last name. For the record, it’s pronounced Goo-VEY-YA. So to make it easier they called me Gooba and it just stuck. My brother, three years behind me in school, inherited the same nickname.
Also, in my group of friends, nicknames are a big thing. My buddy Jason is Dino. My friend (and frequent DF commenter) Alex is Bear. We also have a Jimbo, a Spock, a Lav and a Lozo. Hardly anyone is called by their first name. And even though Will is technically a nickname because it’s short for William, I wanted a special name for my little boy.
So I started thinking of some. MJ calls him “Monkey” or “Chunky Monkey” a lot so that was out. She also refers to him using weird terms like “Monkey Butts” and “Stinker Butts.” Not only wouldn’t I steal hers, I don’t like any of hers. I needed something a little more manly. So I started going through some ideas in my head. I came up with “Chubbs,” “Butch,” “Willy the Kid,” “Michelin Man,” “Snack Pack” and “Tiny.” But none of those really did it for me.
Then I started going back through all the nicknames of everyone I could remember. It’s tough because a lot of them key off of first or last names so those are obviously out. Others deal with how people look, and I think that’s where I really want to focus. Will is a big boy and I think I might as well embrace that with a cool nickname. I always joke around and call him my linebacker. Linebacker got me thinking of the initials L.B. And then I remember one of my brother’s friends from college who I only met once, but he had a nickname that absolutely cracked me up for some reason. And in that instant I knew what my own personal nickname for Will would be…
I don’t know why that amuses me so much but it does. He’s my little Lunch Box. MJ absolutely hates it, which makes me love it that much more. It’s even better because he has a Dustin Pedroia lunch box decorating his nursery right now. And I can also call him “LB” if I want, so I have some options. I think it’s fitting because he certainly eats enough to warrant the lunch joke. And while I can’t explain it, the nickname Lunch Box cracks me up. Every single time I laugh like I just heard a fart joke.
So Lunch Box it is. Unless you, my loyal readers, can think of anything better that completely blows me away. Be creative!