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Yesterday morning, not surprisingly if you have been following my story, I hung up my hammock and grabbed the weighted blanket and tucked in for a while. As I curled my body diagonally across the fabric, I was slightly distracted by what looked to be a slight tear. I fixated on that for a bit, trying to remember what I could have done to cause it. That was a distraction though, so I eventually “let it go” (mostly) and moved on. I started to try to multi-task. I brought a book out and I had a podcast I might listen to, so I attempted to do both, and quickly realized “this is what gets you in trouble!” Focus was needed; to just not be distracted and miss out on what was needed.


So, the podcast on Attachment won out. Immediately, I was struck by part of the premise.

We are biologically driven to attach to others in order to survive. When we perceive threat or danger, we are hard-wired to maintain proximity to someone who will be there for us, and who truly knows us. In this episode, I give an overview of attachment—what it is and why it matters so much to your day-to-day life.

The Place We Find Ourselves Podcast, Episode 5 – Adam Young

It has been an interesting trip in my life to arrive here. The odds of me lying in a hammock, listening to a podcast (any podcast) on attachment, would be terrible betting odds. At least, in my calculations they would be. Of course, the God of the impossible, does ridiculous things and doesn’t always seem to care what I think about odds or my stubbornness.

Rather than regurgitate (that really is a terrible sounding word) what the contents of the podcast were, I think I would rather focus on how attachment (and the related component attunement) is being experienced in my life. I am basically at step one of fleshing out what my insecure attachment tendency1 is: 1) avoidant or 2) ambivalent, so it is difficult for me to dive into this right now, so I won’t…yet.2


Where I can go, is with the concept of attunement. It feels amazing when someone is attuned to what is going on for you, and provides the appropriate responses to help you regulate. It brings a sense of peace and safety and being seen well. In the same manner, it feels amazing to provide the same for a dysregulated person. When we are attuned well, it feels like the heavens open up, the Spirit of God is expressing love through us, and we are able to show care in a genuine way. And…on the flipside, when attunement is “off” man, it feels really off.

As a parent, I have been “off” way more than I want to admit, but I do prefer brutal truth or beautiful lies (of course, with enough grace sprinkled in so I don’t drown in self-contempt). So, anytime I am appropriately attuned to my boys and provide secure attachment, I want to celebrate. There have been years of trying to deal with being dysregulated. It has been combustible. It has been exhausting, but there is progress.

Rain Out

Dad, let’s go out in the hammock!


We have officially progressed from a delayed asking to join me in the hammock, to immediately asking to join me, to initiating the “hammock time.” Sawyer excitedly raced out the front door, and I heard him around the corner say “ahhh, it’s raining! Let’s do it anyway.” I began to explain that “we will be miserable in soaking wet clothes in confined space” (or something like that). Disappointment set in, but it didn’t mean we had to miss out on connection.

I have a ridiculously low Tommy Bahama beach chair that is sitting on my front porch. Don’t judge me, I have very little designer and presentation skills, so the fact I have anywhere to sit is astounding. I asked him if he wanted to snuggle up as I sat way down near the ground in the chair. He did. He immediately took me up on it, although it took a lot of shifting around to find a sufficient way for him to tuck his head on my shoulder. At this point in time, I think God has fashioned his 20th percentile growth rate to allow me to do this further into his life…maybe to “make up” for what was missed.

As I sat there, I realized what a gift I have been given; to have an often dysregulated boy feel safe enough to ask me for what he needs and that I can provide it. In the podcast mentioned above, there was a comment that attachment wasn’t based upon quantity, but was based on being “hugged when they want to be hugged, and to be put down when they want to be put down.”

As you can imagine, that beach chair wasn’t the most comfortable experience for me. My legs and rear actually started going a bit numb. Once I didn’t think I could take any more, I mentioned it to Sawyer, but I asked him if he still wanted/needed time with me, and he did. He got that time and connection, and when he was ready for it to be over, I freely let him go when he “wanted to be put down.”

I will admit that I was one of the worst people in school when it came to “labs.” Whatever the course was where you would learn something “up here” and then turn around and put into practice in the lab, I really struggled. Surely, there is a whole story there. However, I find it extremely amusing that I keep having these learning moments lately where a concept is presented and then I receive a “lab assignment” not long after in the form of my youngest son. Not even a rain out could undermine that yesterday.

  1. I am calling it tendency since I haven’t fully looked into it yet. I have heard it called insecure attachment style. ↩︎
  2. This is different than secure attachment. ↩︎

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