My husband and I are musicians. And we’re parents. When we are onstage, we do our best to really be ON stage. But all our “backstage” experiences with our son (our little frog) deeply affect who we are as people, thus musicians. Recent insights:
This blog has become all about touring with a toddler. For other musicians who have/want to have kids and an indie performing career, there don’t seem to be piles of manuals on the subject. So I am eager to put some of my experiences out there (from my precious packing list, to my meditations on planning vs rolling with it, to my less-than-slick solo runs with my 2-year old).
Perhaps I can encourage a few more of us to just do it. Why not? Life is a dumb and wonderful balancing act, no matter what you’re up to.
In fact, before our son was born, I found it tricky to float through airports without internalizing chaos/stress. Much of the business of travelling (um, a big part of the job) was as challenging to me as balancing my administrative workload with actually making music. Ugh.
Well, this latest installment is about flying WITHOUT a kid! That’s another way to do it–not a terribly practical one for us, since Granny/Gramps live far away. But they agreed to spend the weekend with our son; and we flew our for the Upper Potomac Piper’s Weekend (where we taught/performed)… with just the two of us! With such wonderful grand-parenting (and a freezer full of breast milk, in case Mommy pangs hit hard), there was very little stress or worry.
I’ll admit, during the weekend there was so little to carry around. All we really needed to look after was our own need for coffee, a bit of food. Even with a raging cold, I felt vocally rested, physically comfortable. I did a little email catch up, watched an episode of West Wing. It was restorative.
So, the big lesson: why not feel rested, comfortable, restored while travelling with Nigel? I mean, of course, he requires attention and energy. But it IS possible to run around and “be a train” with a sense of ease and comfort. It can be restorative to play. Why not re-arrange my state of mind and channel my “easy travel days” when we’ve got a toddler in tow.
Just as I was able to get anxious and tense before I ever travelled with a toddler, perhaps I can be easygoing and loose now that we have added a little chicken to our entourage.