It takes me a couple days to recover from big weekends.
Three days spent in Williamsburg bouncing between Busch Gardens and Water Country qualifies as one of those types of weekends. Come Monday I was sore and exhausted from 45,000 steps, according to my FitBit.
One of the highlights of the weekend was an Andy Grammer concert at Busch Gardens. Both my kids like his music as do Pam and I. It was a great concert that was preceded and followed by tons of roller coaster rides. Live music and roller coasters are two of my favorite things.
During the concert last weekend, Grammer interrupted his set list to read a poem he had written. I admit to my eyes rolling at that time, preferring he would just sing his songs and worrying it was going to be political in nature.
When I first heard the title of the poem, “My Father Does Not Care,” my hope was his father was not a deadbeat and that this would be his rant to him like Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece” song. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
The poem read, “My father does not care, in the same way my wife’s eyes glaze over on NFL gameday, he does not care.
Like talking stocks with 6-year-old children, it’s not that they don’t want to listen, it’s that they don’t care.
Like a butcher at a vegan farmers market, a sober man in an Irish bar, like me into an escape room birthday party, he does not care.
I called my dad when I got my first record deal, and I was very excited with lots of emotions and feelings, I said, ‘dad I made it and the check is pretty big.’ I said, ‘dad, you’re going to have a very successful kid.’
I said, ‘I’m going to buy a house, I’m going to buy you one too with a gate and the clickers and the big open rooms.’
I said, ‘pops don’t you worry, this is just the beginning. The tables are tipping, we’re finally winning.’
He kind of like paused. He responded like my 85-year-old grandma completely unamused, holding an iPhone in her hand, like ‘what does this even do?’ Like an American in a cricket match, confused.
He said, ‘son, that’s fantastic, I’m so happy for you.’
See my father does not care about anything but my heart. He knows that wealth and worth have always been super far apart.
And when I showed him my new BMW had the new push start, he faked enthusiasm terribly, like man this is a great car.
But my father’s eyes light up when I talk about my soul. He wants details of every kid I sang to at the hospital. He can talk for hours about anything I’ve ever done for the homeless.
And when my prayer game is strong and I’m centered, he notices. See the thing about sons is we just want to make our dads proud. We know the songs they like and then we sing those extra loud.
And I know how to get my father’s attention now. Being of service to myself and for others that’s how.
You see someday I might be massive. I might be massive with my face up in Times Square. When I fly private, I will only fly private through the air.
I might become a million, bajillion, bazillionaire, or not. The best part is my father does not care.”
During and after the poem was being read, Beckett kept watching me. It may have been partially because it was getting to me emotionally. I’m a sap when it comes to my children. It’s a love thing, of course, but it’s also a result of how difficult and trying our journey to become parents was for Pam and me. It took a ton of money, years of heart break and an ocean of patience for us to create a family through adoption, which came about after many failed invitro treatments and the horrible disappointment that comes with that.
At one point, along our journey, we gave our course to God because we were heartbroken and at our wit’s end. I truly believe our children are gifts from God. Each of our boys comes with their own challenges, and I believe we were chosen to be their parents because we have a certain skillset that will benefit them.
Beckett never said anything immediately after that concert. He didn’t have to. I think that poem resonated with him. That next day while waiting in line for a horrifying water slide at Water Country he brought the poem up and asked why I teared up.
He knew already, as he’s an observant type, but I explained the poem’s message summed up how his mom and I feel about him. While we hope he grows up to be successful and have all the material things he desires (such as his current favorite type of car, a Ferrari), we ultimately care more about his heart and happiness. We, like most parents I presume, hope he finds meaning and significance in the soulful and spiritual aspects of life.
It’s like Andy said.
“See my father does not care about anything but my heart. He knows that wealth and worth have always been super far apart.”