Adam Nathan: "You and the Kid"
A Happy Father’s Day. My son is engaged.
A song for my son: “You and the Kid”
A few weeks ago, my son took his girlfriend on a surprise trip to Maine. He worked out the details with her boss in advance to get her the time off. He rented a treehouse cottage, hired a photographer to record the day, and you know where this is going. She said yes. She will be a blessing in his life and in ours.
“It all passes quickly”
It’s the accepted wisdom that “it all passes so quickly.” I’ve never felt that way, and I wonder whether that’s really true for anyone. I would say that my time with our children was slower than that, a smooth, steady river. You actually can stop for a moment here and there and look around before time carries you along again. My wife and I made a point of doing that.
It is only now, with the children grown, that life passes quickly: Fridays melting into Fridays. I look up at the same ceiling as I go to bed, and then it is night again, night again, night again. Raising our children wasn’t like that. Possibly because raising children is an adventure, and the time we spend in adventures endures.
I wrote You and the Kid for my son a long, long time ago, even before he was born. In those days, before we went to bed, his mom and I would examine her bump, wait for stirrings and then dart excited looks into each other’s faces when we got one: now an elbow, a foot, a somersault.
To be kind and play an instrument
I had two wishes for him in those early days. My first was that he would be kind and the second that he would play an instrument. Both wishes have been granted. He is kind. He plays an instrument. And, of course, he’s much more. His proposal to his girlfriend should give you a clue.
His love of music I had some control of throughout the arc of our time together. I believed this from the start, before the start. While my wife was pregnant, I would sing and play songs for him with the end of my guitar pressed gently against her belly, careful to play softly, picturing my child feeling the otherworldly vibrations, imagining him hearing the muffled sounds of something mysterious, pleasurable, universal, imminent.
His first song
A baritone voice and wooden vibrations would reverberate through his mother’s womb and lead to his love of music, of steel strings, of kind women, of lives together, of raising children of his own. I played so that he would have all of it - indeed so that I would have all of it.
You and the Kid is the song I wrote and played for him right at the start, recorded here a few years later.
Somewhere, even now, tucked below a clever mind and warm heart is this song, his first song.
You and the Kid
Words and Music by Adam Nathan
Let me tell you of a land of scimitars and sand
Rolling like an ocean for a roving desert band
Where the caravan's last candle's burned low for the night
Camel's at the well, baby's tucked in tight
And it's only in my words… spinning empty tales in the air
Hope it's peaceful as your smile… as warm and tender and fair
Cause I want to take you and the kid there
Let me tell you of a cottage of bricks and wattles made
Buried in a glen, tucked away in shade
Where the honey are buzzin’, churnin’ up the air
Kitten's creepin’ in the roses, puppy's dreamin' in his chair
And I'll take just us three on a boat that only sails to rainbows
To an island hideaway that can only be found by the moon's glow
Where the palms and the trees swim only through the breeze that my mind blows
Wandering in the sadness of a cricket's lonely tune
In a field of summer, fireflies in bloom
You can hear the sleepy stirrin' of the tall grass in the night
From a blanket in a meadow 'neath a canopy of light
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