The Gift of Avoidance

sol.jpgMy boys know how to delay getting in the tub better than anyone. All they have to do is suggest a dance party on top of our bed and my husband and I can’t refuse. A sucker for 80’s dance parties, Chris hustled down the stairs to grab his phone.

The beat came first and the struggles of the day seemed to melt away. There was only now. The four of us bounced up and down, wiggled, and shook. Chris’s classic fist pumps were being copycatted by the boys before they decided to whip their shirts off and swing them around their heads. I thought this is living in a house of boys.

Then came the lyrics.

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself
Well…How did I get here?

Letting the days go by. Letting the days go by. Letting the days go by.

I looked at the life we built. The bed we chose before the boys were born so that we could all fit in it. The wondrous miracle that our boys even exist.  The legacy of classic dance moves being passed down from one generation to the next. The lawn mower. The sprinkler. And best of all–the shopping cart. Yes, these are moves when your last name is Cunningham.

How did we get here?

Jack, our oldest son with an old soul, paused just enough in his shirtless thrashing to really listen to the lyrics.  The repetition seemed to grab hold of his imagination and he said, “You know, mom, this is just like the seven years old song.”

So we honored his noticing and listened with intensity and curiosity to Lukas Graham’s “Seven Years” the repetition of “Once I was” pulling us in deeper as we collectively seemed to imagine our future selves.

Once I was seven years old…

Once I was eleven years old…

Once I was twenty years old…

Once I was thirty years old…

Once I was sixty years old…

Matthew is five. Jack is seven. I turn 38 tomorrow. My parents are in their sixties. We are living, breathing characters from the song.

Today on the eve of my birthday I give thanks for this crazy life. For impromptu 80’s dance parties. For the gift our boys gave us as they avoided the tub.



2 thoughts on “The Gift of Avoidance

  1. Happy Birthday! I love this snapshot into your life and I could relate so much. I am 37 and my son turns 6 this week. We listened to the “7 years old song” so much this summer. There is a line about how thinking about your life (or even writing about your life?) makes you have a better one. I’ve been thinking about using this song in professional workshops because I love the reflective nature of it as well as the idea that we hold these moments before they pass by. Our written record of these fleeting moments helps us to remember. This is the perfect example of a Slice of Life- a moment from your life, detailed so beautifully but with deeper meaning in the overall scheme of things. (I may come back to this post as an example of the power of blogging! Thank you!)


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