Once Upon A Time

I heard that Lukas Graham song, 7 Years again the other day and it really
resonated with me.
It’s already a modern classic and something I think all young families can relate
to.
It starts with the singer at the tender age of, surprisingly enough - seven, telling
us about a lecture he received from his mum and ends up with him as a 60-year-
old reflecting on his life.
Apart from the lyrics and haunting piano melody throughout, I think it’s just how
fast he seems to progress through life that really hit me where it hurts.
It’s all over in a flash, well three minutes and 52 seconds to be exact, but it
certainly drives home the fact that life is fleeting and always to be made the most
of, not to be squandered away in petty disputes or pointless bitterness.
It feels like only yesterday that I was running in and out of the school gates
without a care in the world myself. This summer I turned 40 – I feel a mid-life
crisis coming on thick and fast.
Where does the time go? Both my boys are at school now and growing up faster
by the day. Each and every milestone is yet another moment consigned to the
memory box of treasures.
And with age comes the stark and harrowing realisation for parents that
precious time with their young children is certainly not to be sniffed at.
But if you do need any inspiration on exactly how to carpe diem, take a peek
round that untidy bedroom door or visit the after school park and you’ll find a
host of little people doing just that.
With more enthusiasm than a Eurovision host on Haribos and frightening energy
to boot, these little fireballs leave all in their wake and don’t waste a second of
that precious and dangerously disappearing time.
It’s not all of their own doing of course, there are thankless mummies and
daddies at the edge of every playground, doing more than their fair share to
make it as memorable as they can.
The excitement just never seems to end with birthday parties, sleepovers,
football tournaments and countless activity groups featuring heavily on many
agendas.
I could go on but I just don’t have their energy.

So at the end of the (usually very long) day, when the wine bottles pop and those
unsightly bedroom doors are peacefully closed for another few hours, perhaps
we should all take a little step back and appreciate exactly what we have.
And just like Lukas towards the end of his song, who’ll soon be 60 years old,
endeavour to look back contentedly on a life that is sure to have flashed by as
quick as those throw away three minutes and 52 seconds.
If you’ve done your best, it’s all you can do to pass on the baton and hope your
mark will leave a lasting and worthwhile impression on your exhausting little
rays of sunshine.
Remember, once upon a time you were seven years’ old too and had no idea it
would be anywhere near as hard, or quite as much fun as all it turned out in the
end.