On Cat Stevens, One Direction, and the Biggest Lift

The temperatures have plunged again here in the Ozarks, Old Man winter deciding to ride hard across the Oklahoma plains. On this particular trip, he brought his third wife, that old hag who brings all the nagging and none of the pineapple upside-down cake--Old Woman Flu. Old Man Winter is a jerk.

Monday, the doc made a house call to check in on me. He told me that the old bag was making the rounds, that she was a werewolfress, and then he gave me a pack of silver bullets known as Tami-flu. "These," he said, "should do the trick."

Come to find out, "the trick," is a slow process, but I reckon it's working well enough. In fact, just yesterday some of my symptoms eased, and the grand and wide world allowed me to come out and play. As is the way of being what my third son Ian calls a "madult," I first tended to those things which consume madults on an average Wednesday--dropping off the kids at school, going to the office, picking up a grilled cheese sandwich and pickle for lunch. But when the evening hour came, I packed it all up and ran home to get my first family time of the week.

Being that I'd been out of commission for a few days, I decided we should make a moment of it. I went to the record player and threw on my pop's old Cat Stevens album. We found "Peace Train," and danced like it was our family jam. We danced like we were made of Jello, until, at one point, Jude and I had some sort of Vulcan mind-meld and broke into a synchronized version of the robot. We came out of our respective robotings with a clap, and maybe a fist bump, and I raised him in the air for the BIG LIFT.

Who knew "Peace Train," could inspire so much movement? Who knew it'd end with such a Big Lift? Maybe Cat knew what he was doing.

We left Cat crooning in the background, and I made some geriatric comment to Amber about how they just don't write songs like that anymore, and she humored me, said "I know what you mean." After allowing this Old Spice moment, she turned to me with a twinkle in her eye and a blush in her cheek and she said, "but have you heard about One Direction?"

"No," I said.

"Really?" she responded. "I bet their videos have twenty million hits."

I felt the claim dubious. After all, how could a relatively obscure band--and by "obscure," I mean a band I've never heard of--have twenty million hits? I challenged her claim. She pulled up a YouTube video.

"Sorry," she said. "I was way off."

"I figured."

"This video has 197 million hits!"

Dumbfounded, we gathered the family around the video and watched some miniature madults sing a teeny-bopper song about kissing that, I was told, appealed to "tween girls, house-wives, and hip grandmas alike." I'm not going to lie, it was a catching tune, and I'm sorry for doing this to all of you, but the proof is in the pudding:

It's terrible. Right? But you smiled a little, didn't you? Admit it.

Last night was a good night. It was a simple night with just the family, some home-cooked spaghetti, and little bit of music. It was light-hearted, and joyous. We didn't rant about the topic du jour, didn't deconstruct the internet, or lament the lack of world peace. We didn't worry about Titus' upcoming doctor appointments, or ponder the orphan crisis, or sort out the family budget, or game plan Jude's path to the Sorbonne. It was a breathable moment, a moment of raucous laughter, a moment where all were, for a time, present.

It was nice.

And that, I think, was the biggest lift I've had in some time.


Don't miss Amber's writing today. She's giving a bit of a light-hearted Titus update (and some good advice to those of you who write or read on the internet).