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Monday, September 20, 2021

    Father’s Day Reflections

    Tony Tone
    Tony Tone has worked as a radio personality in Muscatine and the Quad Cities since 2006. He currently serves as Muscatine Community School District Communication and Community Outreach Director and writes Talk of the Town with Tony Tone for the Discover Muscatine newspaper.

    Muscatine Living

    I’m a sucker for a song that can make you cry. There, I said it. Maybe it’s the fact that Father’s Day is this Sunday that I find myself listening to Cat Stevens “Father & Son.” What a masterful work of storytelling via song. Cat takes us on a journey featuring a father and son that spans a lifetime.

    I find myself writing this while also assembling a “Father’s Day” playlist via Apple Music (on my iPhone). You’d have to include Bruce Springsteen’s classic “My Father’s House” along with John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.” I don’t consider these songs to be sad even though they can evoke strong emotions. As a grown man, I’m comfortable sharing with you that certain songs connect with me on an emotional level. Music (as I’ve written about time and time again) is so therapeutic and has been for my 36 years.

    It also can stop me in my tracks and assess where I am as a father of three children. I’ve missed too much time with my kids, that’s something I know.

    This year will more than likely be my last with a full DJ schedule. Nothing is worth the time spent with my children. Of course, I’m incredibly flattered and thankful to be asked to take part in so many weddings and other events. It’s also a lucrative business that supports my family, but it takes me away from them.

    By now, we all know we cannot make time slowdown. The last several months have shown me that it’s okay to just be at home. For years, I’ve been wired to be constantly on the go and working to make extra money to in turn take better care of my kids. What I’ve realized is that there is no amount of money that can replace quality time with my kids.

    My playlist ends with “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin. Towards the end of the song Harry writes, “And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me he’d grown up just like me, my boy was just like me.” My oldest son will be driving in six years, graduating high school in 10 years, and potentially out of our house around the same time. I want to be able to soak up all of this time before it slips through my fingers.

    So I’ll meet my obligations for 2020 and I’ve lined up two weddings for 2021, but that’s probably it. My family needs me, and I need to be the best father I can be to help set them up to one day do the same.

    My father, John, passed his work ethic onto me. For years, he was a Chicago police officer while also operating a successful snowplow business. However, I bet if I asked him today, he would say he worked too much. I can’t fault him for that–my siblings and I were taken care of, but perhaps could have had stronger emotional connection. I’m lucky to still have my dad and that I can work on that now and fortify our relationship.

    Happy Father’s Day to all dads. You deserve it.

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