Last Tuesday night I had the privilege of taking my two favorite people in the world, my sons, to an Iron Maiden concert. Rylee is 17 and Austin is 12. They’ve been to a couple of small “concerts” before (Wolfmother, Big & Rich) but this was their first full on “real” Concert.
Think what you may of their music, and the images associated with them – specifically the evil grinnig “Eddie” – but Iron Maiden has been around for over 30 years and is hugely popular the entire world over. They’re music is complex and heavy, and my boys are quickly becoming big fans. I’ve personally been listening to thier music for at least 28 years.
The first time I saw the band was way back in 1983. I have followed their music ever since. The sounds they create have become as much a part of me as all the many other varied influences that have shaped my life. If you were to ask me “Who is Ben Phillips”, the music of Iron Maiden would be one small piece of the many colored tapestry of life and experience that is me.
The first time I saw them back in 1983, I was a young 17 year old kid myself. Last Thursday I again got to see what is a part of me perform live 28 years later, this time with my own 17 year old son. He really likes their music. Will he enjoy it for the 28 years that I have, or will it be just another passing musical interlude, that touches his life and moves on. Much as many have done for me. Will this one night be another piece that makes up the multicolored tapestry that is Rylee Phillips? Only time will tell.
I cant help but wonder, what other pieces to this tapestry that is, and will be Rylee, are yet to be discovered? Will they be good? Will they make him a better man? What will they teach him? Will he choose wisely? So many questions about the man that he will become, that as a parent I wonder, and worry about. So many questions that only the passage of time will tell.
He is slowly spreading his wings. He is becoming a man. Reluctantly so, hesitant to leave behind the comfort that is childhood. But he cannot avoid the inevitable, and I know he is beginning to look ahead of him, to where he will go, and where his life will take him.
One thing that I do know for sure. That one large piece of the tapestry of Rylee, the one that we have worked together to weave for the last 17 years, is almost complete. The piece that is our father to child relationship, the piece that is “Rylee my baby, my young son, my young man” and “Ben my Daddy”. I have tried so very hard to be the very best father to him that I could. I have succeeded. And I have failed. And I love him more than I ever thought it possible to love someone..
Soon………hell……… its already begun, we begin together on a new piece to the tapestry of Rylee. To weave the relationship of Man to Man, Father to Son. Spread your wings Rylee, be all that you can be. You will always be my #1 son, and I will always be your Dad. And I will always be there for you.