Taking your 9 year old daughter to see Jack Johnson


Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I put my arm around you Izzy. We sat in the balcony together while Mommy sat on the 2nd row. As the lights went down, you rose to your feet. I watched a smile spread across your face. You waved the homemade sign that read: “I love Jack Johnson. I love ALO. I love Zach Gill.”


Jack sang “Breakdown” and I thought about times in my life when I needed “this train to breakdown”. Times when life felt like it was all moving too fast and too slowly all at once and all I wanted was to stop for awhile.

From our seats in the balcony I could see Mommy, sitting on the 2nd row, singing along with “Better Together” and I knew she was thinking about me, because I was thinking about her. It’s true, Mommy and I are better together. Jack Johnson has been a constant in our marriage.


I pulled you tight Izzy when he sang “I Got You”. We swayed a little to the music in the tight confines of the Ryman’s balcony.

Jack’s music means a lot to our family. Through good times and bad his music has been a constant backdrop, providing perspective and peace in the midst of it all. I’ve always been able to put a Jack Johnson album on and think back to great memories or think about great things to come.

jack and zach

I wrote these words, and quoted Jack’s song “Drink the Water”, on my old blog on October 19, 2008 -3 days before you came into our lives Max and Kate:

I’ve never been through a valley that didn’t have a mountain top awaiting me later. I know the day I meet Max and Kate will be a mountain top. Say a prayer for us all. If I drift long enough I’ll be home.

And it turned out to be true. I drifted until everything was good again. Because it always is. Now each of you has a Jack song that makes me think specifically of you. Izzy, your song is “Angel”. Kate your is “You remind me of you.” Max, yours is “Holes to Heaven” and “Mudfootball” because I know you’ll have those kinds of adventures one day. 


We love Jack Johnson and Zach Gill because their music makes our lives better. They remind us of love. Of social and environmental responsibility. And in our sometimes hurried life of simplicity.

The show didn’t disappoint. It was family friendly. Jack stopped to give a high five to a young boy in the crowd and even dedicated “Radiate” to “the little kid out there.”


Izzy, you said “Daddy, you look like Jack Johnson. You know…except a little shorter. And maybe if your hair was a little, you know, thicker on top. And darker.” I suppose that’s a compliment.

I know you enjoyed the show Izzy. Mommy and I did too.

I love you,

– Daddy