I keep listening to this song by Ed Sheeran, who is an amazing artist by the way (seriously, if you don’t know his music, you’re missing out), called “Even My Dad Does Sometimes.” I always find myself doing this when I find a song I love—listening to it over and over and over again, falling asleep to it, waking up to it, washing dishes while I sing it to an audience of sudsy bubbles and scattered crumbs around the edge of the sink.

But there’s this line, the first line of the song actually, and I think it’s because of this single lyric that this tune so entraps me.

It’s all right to cry,
Even my dad does sometimes.

There’s something in that singular reference to his father (he’s never mentioned thereafter), as if his dad is the standard against which all forms of human strength are measured. It speaks to a childishness inside me, a need for parental validation, a quality I think we all have until the day we die. In my writing, this theme keeps popping up in seemingly every character I create—the meaning of family and our commitment to those with whom we share our genes, a commitment that often defies logic, reason, our sense of right and wrong. It fascinates me, and every time Ed’s voice croons that first line, something moves inside me. I have no idea what it is, but I can feel it, and I’m profoundly aware of its presence.


Photo courtesy of ollycoffey.


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