‘7 Years’ makes me cry. It’s the whole of life wrapped up in one beautiful song but I just want to press pause.
Lukas Graham’s hit song ‘7 Years‘ sure is a catchy tune – which also contains some sterling lessons for the parent. Such as: don’t tell your children to “make friends or they’ll be lonely” (PRESSURE!) nor to get a wife at 11 (TEENAGE PREGNANCY!). Of course, we can subtly encourage junior friendships and, when the time is right, courtships, but I think we can all agree we don’t want our babies “smoking herb or drinking burning liquor” before they’re twelve.
But facetiousness aside, the line that really makes me cry is the one on the picture of my youngest, above: “I hope my children come and visit once or twice a month”. What a paltry hope! The thought of seeing my children only every couple of weeks brings a sob to my throat.
But the tears are also happy tears – once or twice a month is not bad, really. When I’m pottering around the house doing all the things I thought I wanted to but never could when they were little, their ring on the doorbell will flood my heart with joy. When I’m power-walking up the road back from Pilates (I hope), their car outside the house will lift my feet to the front door. I will be happy that they visit once or twice a month.
And the words make me cry, too, because I don’t see my parents once or twice or month – once every two months possibly. We email, text and sometimes speak most days and that often feels like enough; or rather, it’s all I can easily manage when we live so far apart.
My parents don’t complain, or make me feel guilty. They are happy to see me whenever it happens. And I know why. We don’t raise children to keep them by our side.
But while they are by our side, we should appreciate them. I guess that is the other reason why the line makes me cry. I often characterize my three boys as a seething cloud of mayhem which I must somehow charter through breakfast, school, clubs and bedtime. Every evening I feel like keeling over.
But every night I go to sleep looking forward to seeing them in the morning (or, as often happens, 2am).
Because one day they won’t be there.
So thank you, Lukas Graham. I heard it only took you about half an hour to write the song (respect!) and I don’t know if you put this much thought into the line, or whether it was just to rhyme with “once”. Either way, thank you for reminding me to cherish this time and feel positive about the next turn of the circle of life.
But if my sons are drinking burning liquor at 11, I’ll be suing.
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