Sarah, our youngest daughter and I were arguing in the car (or more accurately she was telling me how wrong I was about many pieces of pre-college advice I was offering, unsolicited, of course) when she put one of her “playlists” on the radio, blasting. The second song to play was “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens and I felt a twinge of the sadness I had been feeling the last few weeks anticipating her launch to college.
Unexpectedly she started to sing the son’s part of the song (which is a duet between a father and son). “How can I try to explain? When I do he turns away again. It seems it’s always been the same old story … ” and she squeezed the top of my hand. With a little teariness, I sang the father’s part by heart and we had one of those eternal moments of connection around one of my favorite songs, one that I didn’t even know she loved! In case there is a stray reader who isn’t remembering the lyrics (Cat was big in the late ’70s after all) a father begs his child to take his time growing up, to live slowly, to be careful, and the son answers with an intense desire to leave home quickly and find his own way “..from the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen, now there’s a way, and I know, that I have to go...away, I know I have to go.”