Felt Like Years


Wednesday night we played for a camp in dry, dusty, west Texas. It was 109 degrees in the car. 
Sheer misery my friends.

Just the weather; not the show. The show was a lot of fun and I have to thank the camp directors Matt and Codye for the adorable outfits they bought for Anniston, and more importantly, the stuffed moose wearing the camp’s t-shirt.

I am an equal opportunity animal supporter. So I think it is quite important for Anniston to have her very own Bullwinkle. I just assumed it would come from Oregon or Montana… not West Texas. But ever the stereo-typist, once again I was proven wrong; moose’s (or is it meece? Or moosies?) apparently inhabit Texas as well.
Bad Mom. Bad Mom.
I left my thirteen-week-old daughter to go on a 3-day band trip.

I cried the whole way home from my sisters. What kind of terrible mother am I?

Ryan tried to calm me down.

“Baby, we’re free for three whole days! We can sleep in! We can walk straight onto the plane without 12 moving parts. We can have fun!”

What is wrong with this man? Taking joy in abandoning our child? Has he no soul?

The thick fog of guilty motherhood hovered around me for hours.

It was illogical of course; she was with my loving sister and brother-n-law and their little dog duke. She was in a yoga-loving, all-natural, sugar-free, positive energy, hippy home next to cow pastures and country folk; how could this be bad for her?

I on the other hand was knocking out 4 flights; two- two hour drives in a cramped mini-van; and performing at two very loud outdoor festivals.

Still, what kind of mom (or woman?) would I be if I didn’t feign some sort of guilt? I will not enjoy myself after turning my back on the little squirrel. Leaving. Just leaving her to wake up and wonder, “Where is my mommy? Who are these people? What is this little smelly creature sniffing and licking me? Where is my house?” Bad mom. Bad mom.
Oh the shame.

This guilt hovered until we checked into our room at the Crown Plaza…

Then I had my own bed. Five down feather pillows all to myself. A 42-inch flat screen TV. We even had the air set at 60 degrees and it was cold enough so that I literally had to burrow into my t-shirt, deep into the blankets, with only my nose and mouth out for breathing. And this all came after a first class ride from Dallas in an airplane that had free internet, warm mixed nuts, those little hot towel thingy’s, and a three course dinner.

Baby? What baby?

I called to check on Annie and asked my sister how she and her hubby were doing as well. Her answer?

“We’ve decided to adopt a child over the age of six.”

Now, I think this is one of the moments where you know you are old- you know, like when you start wearing shoes for comfort instead of style, you don’t get out because it’s too hot or too cold or too rainy, or you realize you are being cantankerous because it’s way past your dinner time- I immediately thought:

“Good. You kids need to know that having a baby is hard. I mean really, you people think everything is easy these days with your little I-phones and Twitter- happy lives, but a baby isn’t electronic, you can’t be a parent through your digital technologies, that’s right children, pro-creation is a responsibility…”

I don’t even know what that last line about digital parenting means. I just know that I thought it. It was a moment where I actually felt like I was passing on unsolicited, but of course much needed, life knowledge and wisdom to the next generation.

Ode to being a 20-something. How quickly I have fallen from being cool.
Dear Chicagoland:
I am so sorry.

Saturday at the Ignite festival I tripped on stage. And for the next three songs I felt pain going up and down my whole leg and I saw stars shooting out from my eyeballs. Almost instantly there was a knot the size of a golf ball on my right ankle. But I didn’t want you to know.

I finished the set because we hadn’t gotten to the song Hope Now yet. And that’s my favorite! Also the first part of the set was a train wreck because my mic wasn’t working and then when I got a new mic I had no monitors (which is like trying to hear yourself singing with a train and jet passing by at the same time) and the sound guys were fighting and the schedule was pushed back… not a great way to start a show. Backstage was quite stressful actually. So with the problems up front and only being half way through the set, I didn’t want to bail out early, and I decided to keep going. But this meant I wasn’t totally myself.

I tried putting weight down on my right foot and it was excruciating. So I leaned on my left foot, held on to the mic stand for dear life, calmly kept singing, finished the last two songs, said thank you, turned around and broke down in tears…

My foot is broken. I can’t move. Please help me… and I was carried off stage.

So embarrassing. It got more embarrassing from there. I am in a dress, laid out on the ground in severe pain. People are all walking around and hovering to see what was going on. One guy is getting my medical history and calling it out to another guy.

“On any medicines?” “Yes, Zoloft.” “SHE’S ON ZOLOFT.”

Awesome. Thanks for telling the world.

“What for?” “I have panic attacks.” “SHE HAS PANIC ATTACKS.”

Then we moved on to contraceptives and recent medical history. Wow. It was special.

Of course the ambulance pulls up and I am wheeled off in front of all God’s people and my face is black… covered in mascara and tears.

All I could think was… “Is this ambulance in-network? Are you bringing me to a hospital in network? Cause God just told me last week that I’m going to be poor and all and I’d like to keep it in network if we can.”

They just kept giving me drugs. Money becomes obsolete when you're doped up. 
So Chicagoland, I am sorry. I am sorry I didn’t get to hang around and meet you guys. I am sorry the mics didn’t work. And real sorry I tripped and sang the last three songs in sheer agony. I’m sure I looked like a ghost!  I am sorry that I vanished to the emergency room. So lame! Uggghhhh. What a day.

At home
Turns out I have a bad sprain that looks like a golf ball. I won’t be able to walk for several weeks and that makes taking care of a 13 week old baby while on the road, and at home, quite hard. I can’t do anything. And my armpits are sore. I hate crutches.

I was having a pity party for myself today as we drove Annie back home. This is going to suck. I can’t even get off and on the toilet by myself right now. The thoughts were going a bit crazy in my mind.

We stopped for lunch.

A group of young military guys came in. One guy was missing both legs and an eye… his buddies were holding his arms as he tried to walk with the prosthetics.

And if that doesn’t give you perspective…

So, I’m at home now and determined to go with the flow. Gimp leg and all. The world keeps turning… and we will hammer through the next few weeks with the help of friends and grandparents and one day I will play in Chicago again and be able to say…

Remember that one summer where we played that awful show….ahhhh…those were the days.
And that was my weekend. Whew. Just a weekend? It felt like years.