Monday, October 31, 2011

a very spooky blog post

Somebody asked on Twitter the other day "When did Halloween get to be about adults?" Or maybe that was on some TV show. Either way, the question stuck with me. 

I am a huge fan of Halloween. I love the kiddy aspect of it (though I really hope no neighbour kids drop by tomorrow, as I'm not buying any candy and they HATE that). But I also really enjoy the night of bacchanalia. The costumes. The parties. The time of casting off our every day restraints and letting loose for a night (or a weekend, it would seem) to not just our fears but our fantasies. 

It's not even that there were no Halloween parties for adults when I was a kid. It just wasn't quite as big a deal. I've generally assumed that part of that was because I was raised in a Christian home, and so making too big a deal about a night dedicated to ghosts and goblins would be inappropriate. But for several years we lived in company housing outside of our small town, and the company put on two parties - an amazing fun fest for the kids, complete with bobbing for apples and crafts and hot dogs and dancing to the never-changed singles on the community hall jukebox. 

En masse following the party we'd trick-or-treat through the 15 company houses. And then we'd all pile into as few vehicles as possible - the Herman's van being prized for its spaciousness - and hit the neighbouring farms. People were generous - perhaps it was the time, or perhaps it was that they knew we had few houses to visit, but they would give out full size chocolate bars and cans of pop and my mom made amazing popcorn balls and we cherished the seasonal rockets and tootsie rolls. 

And we took such pride in our costumes. Costumes then - and still, in my opinion - only really counted if they were home-made. Being blessed with a creative Mom & big sister, I can remember certain fabulous costumes I still wish I could recreate. Like when I was 7 or 8 and went as Pinocchio, complete with blue velvet shorts held up with embroidered suspenders and a nose made out of conical paper towel roll centres that wilted as the condensation from my breathing built up over the course of the night. And yes, it snowed that year. It wasn't unusual to have snow at Halloween where I grew up, so I wore snow boots with my blue velvet shorts, and rushed between houses and from the car to the doorway. But it was a fabulous costume. 

And a few years later, when DJ was too big for such foolishness herself, she made me the most fantastic Pippi Longstocking hair do - thick blonde braids died red, and held straight out with a re-shaped clothes hanger that dug into my head all night. That might have been my last year at those parties. We moved into town shortly after, and town kids didn't have parties like that. 

But the counterpoint to the kids party was the adult party. And it surprises me to remember how much fun my parents seemed to have with their costumes. I remember one year when my mom went as - as we called it at the time (Oh how we wouldn't dare now!) - an 'Indian chief'' - with a full rubber mask, her body disguised in a worn wool blanket, with a wide-brimmed felt hat on. She sat quietly in the corner most of the night, and some of the neighbours never did figure out who she was. I think that was the same year Mr. Ens - gruff, strict Mr. Ens, who always slightly scared me - went in drag. With a Mrs. Robinson-esque little black lace dress, shaved stockinged legs, a blonde bob, and a cigarette holder that went for miles. I've only seen pictures of course, and let my imagination run away to fill in the blanks of how chic the party must have been, despite it's location being the same as for the children's party. The same waxed basketball floor to dance on. The same jukebox playing the same songs. 

There were a few years, I suppose, when Halloween was irrelevant to me. A a teenager too old to trick or treat and too uncool to be invited to do anything else. And those first couple years at a Christian university, where I'm sure even mentioning that holiday was discouraged. 

And then I had little boys. And my own creative fun coming up with their costumes. I still have a couple of them - hoping someday, I suppose, to see them on grandchildren. Or just holding them for posterity. A clown with all the primary colours in every combination of polka dot - white on red. Blue on white. A yellow pom pom atop the hat. And BB2's bunny costume, with it's wiggly tail and green gingham bow tie. Transforming what was Peter Pan one year into a tunic for Frankenstein's monster the next. And most recently BB2 as a teenage Travelocity gnome.

In my 30's Halloween became a big deal again. Fun-loving grad school friends convinced me to dress up and go out with them. We made amazing costumes - I wish I still had my genie outfit - and I was outraged when a store-bought costume won the contest at the bar we went to. It re-connected me to the fun of Halloween. To the importance of escaping once in a while the masks we wear every day and putting on one we normally shy away from. I've dressed up most years since then, and every year I wish we had other reasons to dress up throughout the year.

At some point this fall BB2 asked me to help with his costume again. And I got a little thrill to think of him-  adult & living in another town with another woman, paying his own bills-but still including me in one of the traditions we both love. He and his sweetie decided in the end to go another way, but I liked the planning and the plotting for what might have been. And for what might be next year. 

I got nostalgic tonight, carving my pumpkin without BB1's artistic influence. Without him here to urge me on to try something I know I've no way of recreating, but am still easily convinced to try. He'll be here tomorrow for a visit and will laugh at what I ended up with and say it's good, and I'll defer and say it's not what I had in mind. And that'll be it.

This year, I'll be home. In my disguise as a responsible citizen, the jack o'lantern on my patio the only hint of who else might live here some other October 31. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

the girl who played with fire: review

As with the first book in the Millennium trilogy, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I struggled to finish The Girl Who Played With Fire. Actually, that's not accurate - with both books I struggled with the first third or so, and then couldn't put it down. I find the translated Swedish, or perhaps Stieg Larsson's savant-like attention to detail, labourious. And yet the story moves at a pace that sweeps me into it like a horrifying roller coaster through hell. 

View on Amazon
My bigger issue with reading the Millennium trilogy - the third and final book is coming up soon in my book stack - is that I am struggling to reconcile my enjoyment of the content with the reality of its themes. As someone who has experienced sexualized violence, how can I read about it for entertainment? As someone who has seen the impact of bullying and neglect on the mental health of families and individuals, how can I relate to the book as 'just a story'? As someone whose colleagues help women escape relationship violence and see every day the gender power imbalance that still exists in our society and its real impacts on the safety and security of woman and children ... well ... I guess you see my point here.
The titular girl is missing for much of this second story; missing, but not so much missed. The introduced characters add an interesting texture, particularly in the persons of her lover Miriam Wu and her boxing trainer Roberto Paulo. And, much of her story is filled in through other characters - ones we already know from Dragon Tattoo as well as new players. The most fascinating character is only alluded to until the final chapters, and since the mystery of that person is crucial to the plot, I won't say any more here.

A minor character who is skillfully managed in this volume is Holger Palmgren, Salander's lawyer who suffers a stroke early in Dragon Tattoo. Particularly compelling is his recovery from that stroke once Salander begins to visit. I would have to ask some work colleagues how accurate said recovery is, but from what I've learned about acquired brain injury, relationships provide stimulation, motivation and hope for people post-injury, so Palmgren's improvement not only makes sense but also provides some encouragement in what is otherwise a bleak landscape.

In the end, when these books aren't turning my stomach they are engaging my imagination. The characters are compelling, in their train-wrecky way. But it's really the plotting that moves the stories and keeps me reading. Where Larsson's grocery list detailing drones in describing a shopping trip to IKEA, it builds layer upon layer of tension in the movement of the story; delivering blow by slow-motion blow in the fight scenes, and inflections of meaning in human interactions slowed down by the act of observation.

I will read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest soon and I've no doubt that I will again struggle to distance my fascination with the story from the reality of what it presents. But I will also learn more as a writer about managing detail, building characters over time, and moving plots in slow motion. And that will make the reading more rewarding than even the great story does.

Friday, October 21, 2011

the gaslighting oroborus

A few weeks ago this article by Yashar Ali about 'gaslighting' made the circuit on Facebook. I'd never heard the term before then, but instantly recognised that it's a practice so common that I hardly know a relationship in which I haven't experienced it. 

I'm a woman of emotion - perhaps not more than average, though I suspect, based on the common family myth, that I might possibly excel here. And it's been an issue throughout my life to have what I think are valid concerns heard because I express them packaged with emotion.

"You're too sensitive."
"You're over-thinking."
"Just relax"

They've been such common refrains since I was a child that I've just come to expect to debate those statements instead of whatever the issue is. 

So it was a huge relief to me to read Ali's article, and - yes - I admit that it held a little more credence for me because it was written by a man. 

And then last night I gaslit myself.

I had a valid concern. But I also hadn't eaten in a while. And I had carelessly eaten gluten 2 days before and spent all day with ... extreme digestive distress. And FedEx wouldn't deliver where I need them to, and I can't figure out how to pay for what I need and still do what I want, and ... and ...


But behind the tears and the moaning and the drama I had what to me is a valid concern. And before STG could even get to my house, before he even said his first loving, supportive, word I had already started:

'It's not a big deal'
'I'm just worn out'
'I should probably just eat something'

I caught myself - gagging on the taste of my own tail. I stopped. STG said it wasn't the time for a conversation - it was just time to be. And he was right. And so we be'd. We ate M&Ms and cuddled and watched TV and I tried to breathe.

I've spent some time this week reading discussions of feminism and patriarchy and culture and class and what's changed and what hasn't and how so much of what we live every day we don't even know to question or even have the distance to fully experience because it is so much just the air we breathe.

I'd like to change the air I breathe. And to stop doubting everything I say just because it's accompanied by a feeling. And ... maybe ... read packaging better so I don't stupidly assume that things that 'shouldn't' contain gluten don't. But that's a post for another blog. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

red dress blue gown black pen

Wednesdays tend to be my quiet-night-at-home eating poorly, watching too much TV, and surfing the internet with nothing to do but tickle my fancy. At some point tonight on Twitter I 'met' Alyssa, the author of Near Normalcy, whose tweets made me giggle and whose blog struck a chord with me. She had posted about NaNoWriMo, the annual novel writing fest/challenge, and stated that she participates because she wants to be a writer ... and then she caught herself: 
I want to be a writer?  How sad.  I used to say "I am a writer."  But writers write.  Right?  Writers write, and I don't write anything these days ... well, let me qualify that.  I write for a living.  Technically.  I am a writer.  But I write marketing copy, admission letters, college catalog copy.  I write other people's words.
And I write this blog.  And I love writing this blog, and part of the reason I started blogging was to find my voice again.  And I plan to keep writing this blog as long as you keep reading it, and maybe even if you don't.  But at the end of the day, the writer I want to be is a fiction writer.  A novelist.  And I haven't been actively writing fiction since...November 2009.
So I'm here to say that I am a writer, and I am going to write.
I could have written every one of those words, though probably not with such clear sentence structure. So I clicked on a link from Alyssa's blog to 'Write on Edge' - a writing site 'where inspiration meets community' and I read that they are about giving people the freedom to say I AM A WRITER AND I WANT TO BE A PUBLISHED WRITER, and that their original name, The Red Dress Club, was inspired by The Bloggess (she's a SUPER STAR, don't ya know, and one of my heros) post about a red dress
“I want, just once, to wear a bright red, strapless ball gown with no apologies. I want to be shocking, and vivid and wear a dress as intensely amazing as the person I so want to be. And the more I thought about it the more I realized how often we deny ourselves that red dress and all the other capricious, ridiculous, overindulgent and silly things that we desperately want but never let ourselves have because they are simply “not sensible”. Things like flying lessons, and ballet shoes, and breaking into spontaneous song, and building a train set, and crawling onto the roof just to see the stars better. Things like cartwheels and learning how to box and painting encouraging words on your body to remind yourself that you’re worth it.”
And all of that just rang for me. One of the reasons my profile picture here and on Twitter is me in my blue ball gown is as a reminder. There are other pictures of me that I like - ones where you can see my eyes more clearly, and some that show that I've lost some weight. Ones where I don't have that weird crease on my face. But my lord I love that ball gown. It's so poofy and vibrant and sparkling and unrestrained despite the corset back. It was such an outlandish, impractical purchase. It's still impractical, taking up half the space under my bed. And I can't part with it. I'll likely never wear it again - any future ball will require it's own dress - but I love the pure indulgence and freedom to dream that it represents. 

I love my job. I love that I do work that makes a difference in our community and that matters to me. I love that I work with people who like and respect me and who want me to succeed at work and in my life. And some part of me - the part that went to Ireland on my own; the part that bought her first ball gown at 40 years of age; the part that sometimes has solo dance parties in my living room and that had ice cream for dinner tonight - wishes I could just throw it all away and write. And write and write and publish and tour and win awards. But mostly write. 

We make choices. We agree to commitments and responsibilities. We spend time building futures that sometimes require delaying dreams now to live bigger ones in the future. And we do what we can to keep those dreams alive until they can take over the dance floor. 

The Bloggess has her red dress. I have my blue ball gown. And we all have black ink wells waiting to be emptied across our screens. And now, I must go dance ... 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

i'm going to go back there some day

"Come and go with me - it's more fun to share.
We'll both be completely at home in mid air."

Every October 18 I get wistful. Yes, there are other days I get wistful, though they tend to be a bit less scheduled and a bit more in response to some outside factor. Sometimes they're around the BBs' birthdays when I'm struck by some 'they're all grown up now' mixed with looking at pictures of my tow headed boys, and sometimes even watching video of birthday parties past. Not always, but sometimes. Or it's Christmas Eve, and everyone else is in bed, and I'm up with only the lights of the tree shining brightly on the ribbons and paper and wishing my wishes for everyone represented by a box or bag below.

October 18 is a double-whammy, really. It's the day after BB1's birthday, and it's the day I landed in Shannon, Ireland - the culmination of 6 months of planning, 3 years of saving, and a life time of dreaming.

Many people love to travel. And many people have life-changing trips. I'd already had one myself - prior to Ireland - when I was 17 and my parents took DJ & I to southern Africa, where I learned how blessed we all are, and how common the human experience is, and that we are all so different and so alike. Africa was and is amazing. And, my parents took me. They worked hard to make it happen. They planned. They communicated despite distance and time zones with our family there to make sure everything worked out.

Ireland was just me.

And, that's a lie. Friends encouraged me. Supported me in saving my money. Glassboat lent me money when my savings weren't released on schedule. My parents lent me more money when my new Mastercard didn't arrive on time (yes, I traveled internationally without a credit card - it can be done). The BBs supported me, encouraged me, promised they wouldn't resent my going alone and wouldn't burn the house down while I was gone.

But behind it all, making it happen, planning the itinerary, booking the cottage and planning what to see and do was all me. I allowed myself to dream, and I made it happen. I asked for support (something I HATE to do), and I never gave up. I stopped believing that being a single mom meant going without. And when I got there, for the first time travelling without my sons or colleagues or friends or family, I wept.

Yes, I'd been up for almost 36 hours, aside from whatever sleep one can get on an airplane. And yet I strained my eyes at the sea of green below us as the plane banked over Galway, circled wide over the heart of Ireland, and curved down over Limerick. And then we landed at Shannon International Airport. And my name was coincidentally in lights 20 feet high, and I wept, quietly. And with a huge grin on my face.

I talk a big game about what I can and should and want to do. But more often than not I fail to follow through. Ireland was a follow-through of the highest magnitude.

I'm going to go back there someday. To share Ireland with STG, and to create new memories. And we'll go other places as well - Rome, and Paris, and spots closer to home. Tropical oases, and mountain biking meccas.

And still, on October 18th I'll smile, and think of Ireland, and hum to myself ... 'I'm going to go back there some day."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

hold on

The lucky ones - off on another adventure
I first heard this song when STG & I were driving home from Ucluelet last weekend. I was exhausted & achey and like oh so many songs it made me teary, especially when STG sang along.

I've got it on loop this morning ... for no reason other than I like it.

I hope it gives someone encouragement when they need it. That Michael BublĂ© ... such a tear jerker :) .

Didn’t they always say we were the lucky ones?
I guess that we were once,
Babe, we were once.
But luck’ll leave you cause it is a faithless friend
And in the end, when life has got you down
You’ve got someone here that you can wrap your arms around.

So hold on to me tight,
Hold on to me tonight.
We are stronger here together
Than we could ever be alone,
So hold on to me, don’t you ever let me go.

There’s a thousand ways for things to fall apart
But it’s no one’s fault,
No it’s not my fault.
Maybe all the plans we made might not work out
But I have no doubt, even though it’s hard to see
I’ve got faith in us and I believe in you and me

So hold on to me tight, hold on, I promise it’ll be alright.
Cause it’s you and me together
And baby, all we’ve got is time,
So hold on to me, hold on to me tonight

There’s so many dreams that we have given up
Take a look at all we’ve got
And with this kind of love
What we’ve got here is enough

So, hold on to me tight, hold on, I promise it’ll be alright
Cause we are stronger here together
Than we could ever be alone
Just hold on to me, don’t you ever let me go

Hold on to me, it’s gonna be fine
Hold on to me ... tonight
Didn’t they always say we were the lucky ones?

of dads & daughters

I've been thinking a lot lately about dads, and more specifically how important dads are to their daughters, and how much dads get the shaft in our culture. It's kind of disgusting how we've devalued dads and sanctified moms as though we don't need both equally to grow into healthy adults. 

It's not a new thought - in the blogosphere or for me. I did a quick search of my blog before I started writing this, and in 352 posts I've used the word 'dad' 26 times - fairly equally split between praising my dad, praising some other dad in my life, or acknowledging in a book review that my dad recommended the book to me. 

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of my dad. Of both my parents, but right now we're talking about dads. And because I grew up with a father who was strong, and gentle, and silly, and capable, and prayerful, and spontaneous, and flawed but committed to his own growth, I am now able to love a man who is also a dad and also all of those things. And it's also because I have a life filled with those kinds of men that I find the vilification of fatherhood so revolting. 

Yes, I know not everyone had their dad as active in their lives as I did; I know there are some fathers who don't deserve to be called dads. And that's a tragedy. But there are a lot more dads all along the spectrum - the millions of dads who are doing their damndest every day and not getting the credit & respect they deserve.

My dad is (a very young) 70 and recently offered to try to fix the clutch on my car. That's who he is - he shows up. I can remember more than one occasion when I was a very lonely teenager and my dad would take me for a drive and a talk. Or I'd have had an explosive fight with my mom or one of my sisters and my dad would find me in my room and tell me about his fights with my auntie and how those relationships would change over time. No matter what the rest of the world looked like at times, I have never in my life doubted the love of my dad. I've disappointed him. I've worried him. I hope I haven't hurt him. And I've never ever doubted him. 

I remember driving with my mom shortly after BB2 was born - I'd flown with 2.5 year old BB1 & 3 month old BB2 to Prince George for some family time, and we were driving down to Quesnel for one last weekend at my grandparents' lake house. We were talking about how I was managing with my 2 boys, and I said "it's funny - I never believed you when we were growing up that you didn't have favourites. I always thought that either DJ or Freckles was your favourite, and that I was Dads, but now I know that when you have more children, you just have more love to give." Mom agreed, then added "... but I don't think your dad would ever have said you were his favourite ..." and I realised it didn't matter - he has the ability to make me feel like my thoughts and feelings matter. Like my stories are interesting. Like what I care about is worthwhile. 

SC2 and I were talking about it yesterday, and as she so wisely pointed out, it's with our dads that women learn to be in relationships with every man who will come behind him. It's our dads who teach us what it means for someone to love us, but also that we need men who will fight for us. Like me, SC2 is blessed with a committed, connected dad. And we both know the difference that made for us as girls and continues to make for us as women. 

So damn the TV producers and the idiotic buffoons they misrepresent as fathers. Damn angry feminists who misrepresent equality and pretend we can do it all without men. And damn the men who make dads look bad - who degrade their children's mother in front of the child, who disappear, or who linger only to break their children's spirits.

And honestly, damn all of us for not requiring more, for not supporting the dads we love, and for not saying to them - "you are needed, wanted, loved and required. Please step up. Fight for your girl like you'd fight anyone who wanted to take her away from you. When she pushes away, hold on like your life depends on it. Hers just might." 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

keep on ridin'

It's not that I can't do the trick. It's an easy one - I can definitely do it. It's just that I didn't. Today I took my first real mountain bike ride, and my first mountain bike tumble. I looked at the trick. I practiced the first part over and over. I looked at the second half, and I went for it. 

But something went wrong ... not enough momentum, a moment's hesitation, stepping off to the wrong side ... and I was over. Down on my knee. And then my side. And the bike bounced and the handlebar got me in the stomach. 

I swore. I thought about crying, but I'd really only fallen two feet at the most - I could hardly cry over that. And you know what they say - the best thing to do is get back on the bike. 

So I did.

I was shaky, when I wasn't having fun.  We rode up and down some hills; I practiced some of the regular ridey things that always need practice - loose knees, even feet, soft elbows - and I had fun.

The truth is that more than riding or surfing or whatever the activity is, I like pushing my limits. Finding where they are. Knowing that they move from day to day, and knowing the trajectory is now an uphill, expanding life - that I'm more open to trying things now than I have been in the past.

Sometimes I forget. Laying on the ground with the bike on top of me, wondering what parts hurt, if any,  I forget that the point is not in completing the trick but in going for it.

Next time I'll just have a little more momentum.

This is a couple weeks ago - an easier ride, and less to show for it :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

constancy, change & getting back on the board

I just got home from a four day weekend with STG and his friends to our wild west coast. I've only ever been for mini-trips before and I was so amazed - again - by the ocean. I've lived near the Pacific coast for 10 years and I'm still blown away by its power, its constancy and its constant change. The south island is lovely; Pacific Rim National park fiercely wildly stunning. 

It was a great weekend. Four days of adventure with STG and a brand new first - surfing! I'm a water baby,  so I'm not surprised that I loved surfing (though really I think what I did was called bobbing in the water), but I am constantly amazed by the things I am open to and the fun opportunities I have with STG. Every new experience is a new chance to be myself - to revive the adventurer in me, and to rise to the challenge. 

And then there are those other things - the intricacies of sharing a space with five virtual strangers, the unnatural intimacy of it, and the expected and unexpected reactions and interactions with individuals and the group. 

Like our adventures, in these things, I surprise myself sometimes. And disappoint myself other times. There's this thing about surfing when you're learning to just be on your board where a momentary lapse in focus finds you under a wave. A longer lapse and you might just find yourself being pulled beyond what's technically safe. Getting to know new people, it seems, has some similarities. Lose focus, or belief in who you are, and the next thing you know you're under a wave and wondering which way is up. 

It was a fabulous weekend. I hope we can do it again. I'm proud of myself for getting on a surfboard for the first time and for getting back on it the second day when I could barely lift my arms. And I'm continuing to learn. Getting back on the board. Seeing what I can do differently - on the water, and in my head. And seeing the beauty and the fun in it all. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

may your song always be sung

So I decided to be a little quiet for a while rather than continue to whimper and whine - the stressors and worries were winning, and I just didn't want to keep going on about it. It had been coming for a while, and Friday was the end of it - BB1 was moving out again. And for the first time in my life I'm living completely alone - not even any pets to distract me from the emptiness and quiet. Once I'd seen BB off with my parents, I popped by STGs and picked a fight mostly just so I'd have a reason to cry some more. 

It felt awesome, to be honest - you know how sometimes you're choking on a cry all day and wish you could get it out? How it becomes this physical knot that makes it hard to eat or breathe. And then the crying starts and the perfect person is there to hold you and let you let it out. Ya. He did that. Despite my being temporarily less than logical. And then he wiped my face and said, "You do know, right, that you have a great boyfriend who loves you VERY much?" Sniff. Nod. 

And then UberCoach came over for dinner and we laughed and cried some more. And each day since there's been less crying and more laughing. The Dutchman came over to watch TV. STG and I hung out and discovered that it's not a bad thing to be 8 months into our relationship and finally have a place to be alone together. And tonight Mrs. Lady had me over for dinner and we caught up on our various places on the roller coaster of life. I'm not very good yet at being with the quiet. I have the TV on more than strictly necessary. But, like I said, each day there is more laughter and fewer tears. 

When I moved here last year I was excited about what it would mean to be a young empty-nester. That didn't go quite as smoothly as I'd originally planned, and there are some things to pay attention to that I know now. But I also know we're all where we need to be. And, I miss my BBs. 

Maybe that's why this song has been with me a lot lately. It's the theme to one of my favourite TV shows, and every time I hear it I get a bittersweet tug. This song is for my boys - "May you build a ladder to the stars, And climb on every rung. May you stay forever young."

"Forever Young" by Bob Dylan

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
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