“Not Zesser – Zesser!”

Photo of a very young Papa Zesser with his dog, Dog.
Papa Zesser when he was only Zesser, circa 1967 or 1968, in St-Donat, Québec. Photo no doubt courtesy of one of my parents.

If you’ve guessed that my name is not actually Zesser (never mind Papa), you’ve guessed right.

My actual name is Geoffrey, but – or so family lore has it – as a very small boy, pronouncing my own name came hard. Try as I might, when I referred to myself, Geoffrey for some reason came out Zesser.

Needless to say, my parents thought this was pretty damned cute, and they would sometimes call me that.

But I wasn’t having any, and so, when they did (I’m told), I would respond with righteous anger: “Not Zesser – Zesser!”

When, early in our relationship, I told Raven this story, she loved the story and she loved the name. And so, in moments of tenderness and humour alike, that is what she calls me. And so it may be that that is what my daughter-to-be may call me as well. Which doesn’t explain why I also sometimes refer to myself as Young Geoffrey. But that is a story for another time and another place; this is the home of Daddy Zesser.

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