Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Can Remember When....

All right this will probably rip away any vestiges of uber-masculinity people might have when thinking about me but here goes. This was on my mind for whatever reason yesterday...

If you want to see a new dad cry, play “Let Them Be Little” by Lonestar. Oh my god. Guaranteed water works.

Now, I’m a fanatical music fan. Punk was there for me as a rebellious teen and Bruce has been with me ever since. Not to mention a host of other musicians like Social Distortion, Nick Cave, the Misfits, Graham Parker, Superchunk, the Clash…Collectively they’ve played the soundtrack to my life. Special songs have made me want to have sex, to punch walls, to get through races, to scream at the top of my lungs and sometimes made me even relax. But never had a song made me cry until I held my infant daughter and listened to “Let Them Be Little.” Actually another song made me cry too, now that I think about it but I’ll get to that later.

There was a six or eight month stretch a few years back when we were new parents and I just felt floored by the sheer emotion of it all. I’d pop that song on and start to cry holding my little girl. Now tears shouldn’t be particularly fun, but I made my way back to that song time after time. There was a comfort in it, somehow. My wife would always look at me and say, “Not again….”

"I can remember when you fit in the palm of my hand
Felt so good in it, no bigger than a minute
How it amazes me, you're changing with every blink
Faster than a flower blooms they grow up all too soon

So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little..."

Boy, that got me every time. It was like going to a little cubbyhole all my own when that song played. My own to share with the little piece of perfection I clutched in my arms. Maybe, as a man who likes to control his life, his surroundings, and yes his emotions…maybe that was my way of embracing the tidal wave I felt. Maybe beneath all the bluster I always thought of myself as a loser. A loser that somehow had made good and lucked into everything he could have ever wanted in life. A wonderful wife. A healthy child. Who knows. I do know I came back to that song again and again and I gripped my little girl tight with both arms as tears zig-zaged all down my face.

Disconcerting – yet comforting. Every time.

Oh and the other song to make me cry? You’d never guess. Will Smith’s “Just the Two of Us.” I probably have nothing in common with a famous actor and rapper, yet I felt the power of that song every time. Emotion pouring over me like water. And it felt like the world was just the two of us when I held my sweet, precious daughter and listened to the words…even with my wife close by.

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