You Have to Do This. We Need It.

There is a reason that this metaphor keeps popping up. Cormac McCarthy talked about “carrying the fire” in his haunting novel The Road, which he wrote for his son. Now Alanis Morissette puts her own spin on it in her beautiful song, “Ablaze,” which she wrote for her two children.

“To my girl, all your innocence and fire,” she sings, “My mission is to keep the light in your eyes ablaze.” And to her son, whom she calls a precious gentle warrior, with all his wild energy, she sings the same thing.

You can watch Alanis sing the song in a viral appearance on The Tonight Show as she holds her daughter. Her daughter, who has no idea she is on national television, is genuinely precocious and curious and funny. Alanis is trying to sing, to do her job, and her daughter is just being a kid. 

This is what we are trying to protect. This is what we have to take care of—no matter how old they are. Our job is to keep the way they were born, which as The Road was written to show us, means fundamentally good. And innocent. And pure. 

We have to help them carry the fire. We have to keep that light in their eyes ablaze. No matter how dark the world gets. In fact, we have to do it now, more than ever, because the world is dark. That’s our job. That’s our warrant. 

If we fail… god help us.

P.S. This was originally sent on September 22, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”

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