Boy playing with his dad

It’s Sunday morning 7am.

Coffee is brewed. I’m onto finishing my first cup. This should be the start to my relaxing Sunday morning routine. But alas, my 5 yr old son is up too. (No rest for the weary)

He’s making zooming noises with his makeshift Lego car. He thinks it looks kind of like the moonrover. I agree. He says, ‘Daddy, let’s play.’

‘Oh yeah, well umm…you see, it’s Sunday,’ I say. ‘I’ve got this routine I do and…’ So I’m quick with the knee jerk answers:

I’m reading the paper.

I’ve got a book to finish.

I’m working on a podcast I’m about to launch.

I’m starting a new online music service I’m also offering that I’m building the website for right now (Wow, just writing these last few lines makes me see the absurdity of trying to do all these things at the same time but hey, that’s just my life. Working on that).

I need to read Chris Brogan’s Sunday newsletter.

That’s part of my Sunday morning routine too. If you don’t know Chris Brogan, you should. I don’t know anyone else who thrives in business like he does mostly by helping other people thrive. That’s his thing.

In that newsletter Chris talks about how business is about belonging. How if you want to thrive and always have work, do things that serve others. He mentions doing something today, any small thing that could help others. So I decided to write this piece. Maybe it will help someone. Maybe you.

Back to the story…

So in other words I’m saying to my son, ‘I’m busy, kid. Can’t you see that? Go play on your own.’

That’s always my excuse.

I’m too busy. Gotta make it happen. Gotta bring home the bacon. Gotta make the donuts. Gotta be productive. I’m working on BIG things. The message?

I don’t have time for you but I want you to know I’m making this sacrifice for you. Just so we’re clear. And one day you’ll reap the benefits of my great sacrifice. You’ll see.

Are you that kind of busy too?

Then he repeats himself, only more obnoxiously, ‘PLAY, DADDY!!’

‘I can’t. Don’t you understand?!’

Then somewhere in there I stop and look at him. The light of a cool Spring morning is reflecting off his wispy blonde hair, making it glow.

He’s going to be 6 soon.

Not long from now he’s not going to need me to play with him. He’ll leave me alone finally. But he’s never going to be cuter than he is right now. Then a song pops into my head. It’s before your time (many of you anyway, I’m guessing). It’s called Cat’s In The Cradle by Cat Stevens.

It’s about a man who looks back on his life, lamenting how his father never had time for him growing up until one day he grows up, has a son and then realizes he’s become just like his father.

I pause and look at my son again.

Then I put down my computer and see how I can help him improve his moonrover. There are only so many toy cars left to build. And batteries left to install in Christmas presents I curse building.

I don’t want to be that kind of busy anymore and become that dad in the song.

So I’ll ask again. How about you?

Are you that kind of busy?

How’s that working out for you?



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About Mark Hermann

Mark Hermann is a music producer, guitar player and songwriter with the occasional whimsy to create mosaic art and go fishing. Currently serving a life sentence for the serial abuse of metaphors. He teaches musicians and other creatives how to unearth their own rock and roll story and deliver the soundtrack to their personal brand.

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