This is a story about my son and the song Fireflies. I'll preface it by saying that I like the song, and a love the video. The collection of old toys that magically come to life is brilliant and fits the song perfectly. But that's not why this is a Musical Monday selection.
The reason is that this song plays a part in a good memory I have of my son, and I don't know when I'll be able to make more good memories that he is involved in. In 2010 we were in Hilton Head, and with my siblings and their families, we went to see Shannon Tanner, a local children's performer who plays mostly goofy songs that appeal to younger audiences while mixing in family friendly humor. He is, for want of a better word, a "safe" entertainer for parents vacationing in Hilton Head to take their children to see.
Tanner has a portion of his show in which he invites kids to come up and sing something or tell a joke. As his core audience tends to range in age from toddlers to preteens, the range of songs and jokes chosen varies wildly, and sometimes the results are something less than desirable. After his sister had gone up to sing a song, my son decided he wanted to take the stage as well. And this was somewhat problematic, as he was at the age where off-color humor was, in his opinion, the funniest thing ever. And, well, he kind of had an established track record of taking song lyrics or jokes and transforming them into something less than family friendly.
So we told him he couldn't go up and sing. But he promised he'd do something up there that wouldn't make everyone in attendance sorry that they were related to him. And he went to the stage and sang Fireflies. And he sang it beautifully. There are times when your children impress you in ways you simply didn't expect. This was one of those times. I don't remember anything else about that night or really anything else about that trip to Hilton Head. But I remember him standing next to Shannon Tanner and singing this song, and I remember being proud of him.
My son is now fifteen, and in addition to the usual adolescent surliness, he is angry with me for a collection of other reasons, most of which are beyond his control. And because of this, he's shut me out of his life. I miss the son who surprised everyone and sang Fireflies and made me proud of him.
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