Archive for October, 2009


His name is Aiden.  But he goes by many other names.  His older brothers gave him a nickname early on in his life and the name – and its variations – have stuck.  There was a TV show on PBS when Aiden was younger called ‘It’s a Big, Big World’ (in fact, it’s still on).  The show featured a mischievous monkey, Smooch, and his sibling, Winslow.  I don’t know how or why, but Aiden’s oldest brother Owen started calling him “Smooch”.  And it stuck.

No one got it.  The grandparents were especially confused.  The explanation of “he was named after a monkey on a TV show” didn’t exactly help.

And then came the variations.  “Smoochie”. “Mooch”.  His mom, Nicole, prefers “Smoochie Bear”.  She has this great sing-song way that she says it that usually sends him running because it means she wants him to do something, like wash his hands or pickup toys.  The call of “Smoochie Bear” is usually followed by a thump-thump-thump and a giggle as Aiden flees whatever he’s supposed to be doing.  She really only calls him “Aiden” when she’s serious.  Like when he’s not listening.  Which is a lot.  Owen, his oldest brother and bestower of the nickname, goes with “Booch”.   Apparently, now that we’ve adopted “Smooch” he’s moved on.  His other brother, Alec, likes to say “Smoochie” mainly because it’s impossible to say without smiling.  And Alec really likes to smile.  Me?  I like “Smooch”.    It’s simple.  And I don’t like change.  I even made up a little song using his name to the tune of the song they play at baseball games.  You know, the one that escalates at baseball games into a final “Charge!”.  If I liked baseball, I’d know the name of the song.  Anyhow, if I start into ‘Smooch, Smooch, Smooch, Smooch… Smooch, Smooch…’ it drives him wild.  And after a few giggles I quickly get a “Bop, Dad!”  (That’s Aiden’s way of saying “stop”).  This is accompanied by sign language for stop.  Apparently he wants me to be more serious. Then I’ll quickly get the sign for “more” and it starts all over again.

My beautiful wife went through a phase of trying to get us all to call him “Aiden” again.  “He has a name!” was the line the three of us boys had hurled at us for about two weeks.  It didn’t work.  What can I say?  It’s a good nickname.  They’re sticky.

So, what’s so special about this kid that he has so many nicknames you might be asking?  Well, for one, he’s my son, which makes me somewhat partial. 🙂 Second, Aiden has a disease called Dravet Syndrome, which is a pretty severe form of epilepsy.  You can read all about it in the ‘About Dravet Syndrome’ page.  But this blog isn’t going to be about Aiden’s disease.  It’s going to be about him – and, invariably his brothers and his mom – they’re all pretty inseparable.  Because at the end of the day, I am continually amazed by Aiden and the gifts he brings to our lives under the most trying of circumstances.   He perseveres and is filled with so much warmth and love in spite of the curveball life has thrown his way.

So this is for him.


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