As a writer there are things -- essays, passages, songs -- you read or hear and know you could have (or sometimes feel should have) written. Ben Folds' "Still Fighting It" is one of those things for me. I'm not a huge Ben Folds fan. I liked the single "Brick" that he put out with his old band, Ben Folds Five, but beyond that I'm not someone who claims extensive knowledge of his oeuvre. I do know that "Still Fighting It" is on Folds' first solo album, Rockin' the Suburbs, released September 11, 2001 -- about a month after my son was born. I didn't find the song until a couple of years later, during that time when my son's personality was really starting to emerge. And the lyrics captured right where my head was at the time -- realizing he was "so much like me (I'm sorry)" and how it was "weird to be back here" in Northeast Ohio, where I grew up, as a husband and father. The lump-in-your-throat honesty -- raw and brutal as "Brick", but so heartbreakingly beautiful here -- captures so much about being a dad, and the feelings that confusion evokes.
Revisiting the song today, and coupling that with having just read David's new book (and its underlying theme also about a man stretching and evolving into the role of spouse and provider), and I am suddenly in a most reflective, most appreciative state of mind as Father's Day approaches.