I've been thinking a lot about music, baby. When you were still in your mom's belly, we'd listen to Dylan and the Beatles and Miles Davis. Three years later, you still perk up at the sound of a trumpet or saxophone. You even own a little plastic horn, yellow and orange and green.
In a month, you'll begin attending dance classes (I could have sworn you were crawling last week).
But your exposure and love of music came into better definition for me over the weekend when a friend with grown kids of his own asked me how fatherhood was, and all I could think to say was “amazing.”
“Yeah,” he said, “but amazing every day in a different way, right?”
Yes, of course! Like jazz, baby.
You are a solo, you are improvisation.
You are a John Coltrane riff suddenly exploding in my ears.
You are the smooth ecstasy of Art Blakey.
You are the famous Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall Concert when you blow so loud and I think the ceiling will fly off and the neighbors will run into the street yelling.
You are Wes Montgomery, coming in low and quiet when I least expect it.
And yeah, you are Miles Davis in his early ’70s acid funk stage where you are just doing your thing and I have no idea what's happening, but hey, it's your thing and you own it and I respect that.
Every day with you—sometimes many times a day—is something exquisite and new; is something terrifying and calamitous. Sometimes you are accessible and everybody gets you. Sometimes, only your mother or I get it. Other times, baby, you are flying solo, and we mere mortals are just along for the ride.
When you are off your game, you're still unique. And when you're good—when the moon is as perfectly round as your eyes and you reach for the ceiling and stomp your feet—the world bends its ear to listen to you.
During those times, you are divine revelation.
You & Me: Reflections on Becoming Your Dad by Dan Szczesny is now available for pre-order!
"Like a time-capsule full of wondrous observations, we are all at once transported to a slower, more thoughtful world where we witness the passage of time through the eyes of a loving dad. Dan Szczesny’s delight and simultaneous grief over the inevitable growth of his precious and oh-so-wise young daughter will resonate with me for a long time to come."—Kasey Mathews, speaker, coach, and author