So I was folding laundry tonight, Dempsey asleep at my feet, bopping along to the Beatles, when Pandora picked a song I probably hadn't played in thirty years: John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)."
Right on cue, Dempsey twitched his legs and woke up, startled: doggie nightmare. I swear I'd only had one beer, but I found myself giving Dempsey a big hug, teary-eyed and overwhelmed.
I was only about eight years old when Double Fantasy was released, and though my musical taste at that age was pretty atrocious -- I sang along to the Bee Gees, and thought that Crystal Gayle had the coolest hair ever -- I clearly remember being disappointed with the record. Yoko Ono sounded like a wailing banshee (a judgment with which I still agree), but more importantly, I thought Lennon had gone McCartney, full of silly love songs.
I guess I'm now about the age Lennon was when he recorded Double Fantasy, and it makes more sense to me now, though it's still a bit too blissful for me -- I also listen to Hank Williams, after all. As a boy myself, "Beautiful Boy" was pure schmaltz, but now, looking at Dempsey, it's intensely meaningful. Doreen and I don't have any kids, but with Dempsey, I think I now have some idea of how fiercely you can love a little ankle-biting, mess-making monster.
How can we ever "give him up"? I think John answers it: "I can hardly wait/to see you come of age." Nothing would make me prouder than to see Dempsey graduate, pick a partner, get a job, and move out.
Our beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, darling boy.