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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Father's Voice

“I played that song that you sent me, Dad, on Mom’s computer today. Me and Spencer listened to it like ten times. I thought it was you, but Mom said it wasn’t. Spencer thought it was cool that you know famous singers in New York City,” the seven year-old said.

“Umm, Edison, that IS me singing that song I emailed you,” He said.

The little one looked confused for a moment and then said, “But, Dad, that can’t be you singing. Mom listened to it on the computer with me, too. She said it was that guy who signed that CD that we talked to on the phone after his concert that one night...”

“I promise you, son, that’s me singing,” He said.

His son was silent for a moment before asking, “How come Mom doesn’t know you sing like that? I know you sing like that and I’m only seven. I mean, you always sing like that with Esa and I – especially when we’re in the car or when we’re cooking in the kitchen...”

“Well, I guess I don’t know. I mean...” and this time his Father stumbled to find his Words, before continuing, “… I guess, maybe, I was just afraid to Sing, back then.”

Then after a little pause, his Dad smiled and continued… ”But, I’m pretty sure I might have sang in the shower when your Mom wasn’t around.”

“But, Dad, You knew Mom for like twelve years before you got divorced… you have an awesome Voice. You’re the Best Singer Ever and you would totally win American Idol if they let Old People on there. How come you never sang with Mom around?”

His Dad smiled a Little Smile as he remembered how old Everyone was when he was seven.

Then, seeing his son still looking to him for an Answer, he reached deep into his Pocket of Answers and pulled out The Only Answer Left and said, “Son, it’s kinda like this: sometimes we can’t sing until we find our Voice – and, maybe, sometimes it just takes a while for some people, like me, to find their Voice in Life. But, we all have a Voice, even you. Some people don’t even know they have a Voice. Some people just haven’t found it yet. Some people even lose it and are trying to find it again. But, the bottom line is that we each have to find our own Voice. Sometimes, though, you find it when you’re alone. Sometimes, you can find it with someone else. In the end, some people just find it Later than Sooner.”

His son looked back at him, even more confused.

Then, suddenly, the Confusion fell away from his sun burnt cheeks, and the little one turned around and walked away.

“I’m going to go find My Voice, Dad” he said, as he disappeared into his room.

His Dad chuckled and yelled down the empty hallway, “Yeah, I don’t think you’re gonna find anything in there until you clean it. But shout if you need any help finding it.”

A few minutes later, as He passed by his son’s room, he could hear his son singing Songs to himself in his room – Songs that he’d never heard, before – Songs that maybe he knew when he was seven but had, since, long forgotten.

And in that moment, He hoped that his Son would learn Some Things from him that He had never had a chance to learn from his own Father. But, more than anything - in that moment - he was sure that his son would find his own Voice - with or without his help.