I was laid out in the sun on Father’s Day when my four-year-old bounded outside.
He grabbed my arm, looked at me with his big, brown eyes and said, “Daddy, the mountains are blue! Do you want an ice-cold-beer?”
“I’d like that” I said, wiping away tears.
And on June 19th, 2022, my life became just a little bit more complete: The small human I created served me a beer.
Not every kid is equipped to bring his old man a cold one at such a young age. Even fewer can analyze the colors on the can to determine whether that cold one is, indeed, cold enough to bring over (thank you, Coors Light, for the preschool-level educational technology).
Fewer still understand that the word “beer” is best modified by the words “ice-cold.” So, either my son is a genius or I’m a poor judge of child development who should stop using the Coors Light can to measure my kid’s progress.
Even so, as I sipped the ice-cold beer my son served me, I looked to the heavens, breathed a self-satisfied sigh, and thanked the Lord and Luke Combs for my good fortune.
The minivan, the play room, and even his lullabies resonated with Luke’s boot-stomping, fist-pumping, beer-drinking anthems. And in a genre that loves its beer, Luke Combs certainly made his mark with songs like “1, 2 Many,” “Cold As You,” and even a song called “Beer Can.”
“Beer Never Broke My Heart” was my kid’s favorite, though. Even an infant can’t help but get a little stoked and pump his little fists when Luke hits us with the hook. And that hook must have stuck deep in my son’s subconscious because, when he turned two, he skipped the small talk and went straight to chanting about beer in the supermarket.
“Long… neck… ice… cold… beer never broke my heart!” he yelled as I grabbed a six-pack and tried not to make eye contact with a couple of grandmas who thought he was cute a few minutes ago.
“Not my fault!” I wanted to say. “It’s Luke Combs and that damn, catchy beer song!”
Young kids are always watching and listening to their parents, and it’s horrifying. Every little slip of the tongue or Wheeler Walker Jr. song that invades your playlist inevitably ends up on the lips of your kid at the worst-possible moment.
But there’s also a special joy hidden beneath the embarrassment when your kid quotes a profane song lyric or starts singing about drinking beers. It’s absurd and hilarious, and those moments bring a little bit of joy to the mundane parts of parenting.
Luke Combs is a father-to-be and, while his new album drops later this week, he’s mentioned that there are, unfortunately, no more “beer songs” to look forward to. Luke is trying to show his growth and maturity as he leans into parenting for the first time. It’s a noble posture to take… for now.
But as an experienced parent, I know Luke will come back to those beer songs soon enough. After he gets his taste of late-night screaming, dirty diapers, and incessant whining, he’ll remember that, as he said himself, “nothing picks [you] up like a beer can.”
And parents know that you need time and space to suspend your maturity and to chant some easy-listening, fun country beer songs every once in awhile.
Plus, if you’re a dad like me, there’s always the chance that those beer songs lead to a magical, emotional moment when your boy double-checks that the mountains are blue before bringing you a cold one on a Sunday afternoon.
You’ve got a lot to look forward to, Luke. But trust me, you’ll need another round of those beer songs before long.