Things Happen

Reflections on Shuffle-Play

Things Happen

By Dawes

Last Summer, my older son had his tonsils taken out. We knew he wouldn’t be feeling good for a bit after the surgery but had no idea that the healing process was going to be as long or complex as it was. Our poor boy pretty much sat on the couch for a week, woke up during the night crying from the pain in his throat and ear, and lost thirteen pounds. After a week had gone by, it was time for both the boys to go to Bible camp in North Dakota but Owen was nowhere near ready to leave the couch yet. So, I left with our younger son and Owen stayed home with my husband. We decided that if he was feeling better in a couple days, Chad would bring him to camp to join us.

It turned out that Owen was feeling better, so he came to camp – but we realized quickly that the loud noises of 100 other kids made his ear throb with pain. So instead of him staying with the other kids in the cabin and joining them for their activities, Owen spent much of his time with me in the Retreat Center. He watched movies, I read, we talked.

I take pictures of country churches. The smaller and more remote, the better – and being in North Dakota for a week I was excited to take some time prowling around the backroads and looking for churches. There was one I had read about that I particularly wanted to see but I knew it was a couple hours away. I didn’t want to leave Owen alone all day but I also knew he doesn’t enjoy the picture-taking days as much as I do. In the end, he decided to come along. We stopped at Walmart and found some little camping warming pads that he could use if his ear started to bother him.

It was a splendid and simple day. Somewhere in the middle of North Dakota, there was a crazy-good radio station that was playing some great stuff. The lyric, “may all your favorite bands stay together” caught my ear and before I knew it, I was searching for the name of the band. It turned out to be Dawes – so when the radio station faded out, I looked them up on Spotify and fell in love with them immediately.

Their songs became the soundtrack for that day. Riding around the countryside of North Dakota with my eldest son, who is so close to being a teenager it takes my breath away. We rode along through sunshine and then pouring rain, along interstate and then miles of gravel road until we found the little church we were looking for. Like a tale in a storybook, a man with a glass eye was there and he let us in the church and told us stories about that magical little place on the prairie. He lifted up the trap door to the cellar fellowship hall and we went down there to see pictures of that congregation’s rich and beautiful past. Even though the thunder and lightning kept me from taking many pictures, it was worth every minute and mile to get there.

We headed back toward camp, stopping at some other churches on the way – I would take photographs and Owen would do bottle flips on the front steps. We stopped to eat. I had soup. He had 1/8 of a pancake (still not much appetite). The sun came out and the shadows were growing long.

Some people say they don’t know where the time goes. Some people say they missed out on their kids growing up. But I know where the time goes – I have every second of it stored in my mind and heart. And I have not missed out on my kids growing. I have been here every day. I’ve reveled in their laughter and I’ve dried their tears. I have shown them the joys of cupcakes, meteor showers, watching for the space station to fly over on a quiet night, a great movie, singing around a campfire. I’ve taught them to say “thank you” and “I’m sorry” and “have a good day,” to say their prayers, that love is the most important thing.  And I have understood with each day how precious these days are. I have not taken a smidgen, an iota, the tiniest whit for granted.

Maybe that’s not entirely true. There were times I got tired of them always wanting to sit on my lap or weary that as soon as I went to the bathroom they needed me DESPERATELY! All that is mostly gone now. With each day they get more of their own lives and need less of mine. I know we will always be knit together, but it changes.

So, I’ll treasure every second I get.

I’m a mom who never thought I wanted to be a mom, but dear God, my boys fill my heart full.

bottle flips

 

Things Happen by Dawes

I could go on talking or I could stop
Wring out each memory til’ I get every drop
Sift through the details of the others involved
The true crime would be thinking it’s just one persons fault

Like an honest signature on a fake ID
Like the guilty conscience with the innocent plea
You can just ignore it, put it out of mind
But ain’t it funny how the past won’t ever let something lie

Let’s make a list of all the things the world has put you through
Let’s raise a glass to all the people you’re not speaking to
I don’t know what else you wanted me to say to you
Things happen, that’s all they ever do

In a different time, on a different floor
I might mourn the loss of who I’m not anymore
So I’m driving up to Oakland for a good look back
And a few revisions to my plan of attack

Let’s make a list of all the things the world has put you through
Let’s raise a glass to all the people you’re not speaking to
I don’t know what else you wanted me to say to you
Things happen, that’s all they ever do

I think I’ll see Lily, see where she stands
I can’t help how I feel, I don’t think anyone can
Sometimes we’re lovers, sometimes we’re friends
Behold the magnetism between two dead ends

Let’s make a list of all the things the world has put you through
Let’s raise a glass to all the people you’re not speaking to
I don’t know what else you wanted me to say to you
Things happen, that’s all they ever do

Lets’ make a list of all the things the world has put you through (we can qualify the spirit guides we listen to)
Lets raise a glass to all the people your not speaking to (or why are moms compelled to bronze your baby shoes)
I don’t know what else that you wanted me to say to you
Things happen, that’s all they ever do
That’s all they ever do
That’s all they ever do
That’s all they ever do

 


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