Yesterday was a big day and yet it went by with very little fanfare, just a little “here here” in my head. I spent a few hours, all that I could afford in both time and money, in the studio. We began the journey into what will eventually be my CD. I think the significance of those two hours, will only truly be realized upon completion of this project.
Let me give you a little picture of what it’s like. I arrive at Marks house ( he is the producer,technician etc.) remove my shoes, pet the dog (Cora) chat a little with Mark and his wife while they lovingly make me a cup of tea (super yummy) . The tea is significant because before my arrival I have developed a troublesome tickle in my throat…..I am not giving into it. With tea and guitar in hand, I head up the narrow wooden stair case ( the one I fell down in my earlier post) up to the ” studio”.
Mark has graciously done a lot of work before I even arrive and is basically ready to rock. We set up a tempo. I explain to him how I am “click track” challenged. A click track is just an electronic metronome that you here in the headphones when you are working on the first guitar track so that it keeps all subsequent tracks in time. Well if you know me at all timing and tempo are not my strong suit. The electronic metronome is exact and there isn’t much about me that is that precise. Mark is lovely and assures me that I am not the only one and after a short technical discussion solves my problem by creating an electronic shaker of sorts that give me the beats in between the down beats….problem solved. All this time that I have spent in the studio with this pesky little problem and he solves it in a matter of minutes. At this moment I’m thinking “where have you been all my life” and “thank you for not making me feel ridiculous”. Which is how I often felt before.
Four guitar takes later, we actually used the second one, and three vocal takes complete,( not sure which one we used) I have a “working” CD. This is the one that I will sing to in my car while working on a vocal arrangement for harmonies. I will sing it over and over again in my car where I feel free to belt out anything that comes into my head without offending anyone’s delicate musical ears.
So drivers beware. Should you pull along side me on some L.A. street, or driving south perhaps, on the 110 freeway, don’t stare or become concerned, I am only working to bring you the best music I can. I do it for love.
Well phase one is under way. I have been up loading a few videos to test the waters. So far it’s been a good response. Of course it is family and friends and I’m not sure they would say anything remotely bad. What I did find promising was that they were’nt shy about sharing it with their friends. Again, it isn’t too astonishing because they are family but it will be interesting to see if their friends have anything to say.
Something odd has come up however and I am writing it down. Mostly I want to chronicle everything that happens in this process, but also because writing of any kind usually serves as a tool just to sort things out. It is a concrete way for me to self examine, self analyze and hopefully come to some sort of understanding about the crazy thoughts that roll around in my brain. I think, right now, I am missing some criticism. I am really really self critical but what I really want is criticisms from outside soures. Let me explain….
If all you hear are positive statements don’t you start to become skeptical? Is that just me. I want to grow and be better so give me something to work on or challenge my position. Really, I guess I don’t “want” it but I think I need it. Sometimes it makes me reaffirm my own choices. I hate (and I mean it makes me physically ill) confrontation of any kind. If you critisize a choice I’ve made, I am likely to change it. I do have rare moments where I stand up for myself and my choices and then I feel certain of what I’ve chosen. It sometimes takes the challenge for me to be sure it is right for me. Sometimes things don’t end up the way I thought they would but, in those instances, I walk away feeling very satisfied and self assured. Does that make any sense? Well I’m not telling you to nit pick but just be honest and give me something to think about. I know I’m not perfect.
Today I made a phone call. That, in itself isn’t such a big deal, unless of course you factor in that I hate talking on the phone. It was the nature of the phone call that is important here. It took me some time to muster up the courage to make it but I made an appointment in my head. I wasn’t going to put it off. 10:00am….make phone call. Well, at 10:06 I actually dialed the number.
The phone call was to a lovely gentleman who has agreed to produce my CD. Or at least the first three songs just to see if we will work well together. We don’t really know each other very well. I met him through a very dear friend and musical kindred spirit. He and I have hung out a few times, getting to know each other. I have played some songs for him, fell down his stairs….a stellar moment even for me, and we did some rough recordings so he would have a reference point while we took a little break for the holidays. He is very nice and I think he gets me and while sometimes it is still hard for me to believe….he says he likes my music.
So the phone call. Well I was supposed to make it yesterday and I did not. After dealing with some health issues, both mine and my sons, I was emotionaly fragile and let my fear get the better of me. Went to bed around 4:00 and slept through dinner. Today, while my fear was ever present, I mustered up some courage and made the call. I think perhaps, a sense of propriety won out over my irrational fear as well but let’s just call it courage o.k.?
What was I so afraid of you might be asking yourself and the truth is I don’t really know. Perhaps it is the constant ” who am I kidding” question or perhaps the fear of not being able to finance it which leads me back to the ” who am I kidding” question. It’s scary here in my head most of the time. So scary I don’t even want to be there but alas. I am taking a moment to acknowledge that I took one small step on the surface but a huge friggin leap in my head.
I am giving the floating dollar signs a rest for tonight and allowing the true glory of this moment to sing. Next Tuesday the journey of a thousand steps begins with the first recording session. I am nervous and excited and putting a lot of trust in God that this is why I am here and He will take care of it.
For the third time in my six year olds life, I had to walk away and leave his well being in the hands of a stranger. While they may be highly trained and lisenced by the state, they still hold his little life in their hands.
The first time this happened was when he was born (and really makes it four times but who’s counting). Within minutes of his birth they whisked him away to the NICU while I was wheeled to recovery room. I really think it solidified in me a lifetime of wanting to keep him close by me. The second time was only a week later when I had to leave him there and go home empty handed. It isn’t natural or fair for a mother to not take her baby home with her, not for the father either but I think ( at least in my case) they are trying so hard to hold the mother together they don’t really have the chance to feel their own feelings. So…..here’s to the parents that have to go home without their little ones in their arms. The ones who go back and forth to the hospital daily (sometimes more than once a day) to check in and maybe not even get to hold them but sit patiently by that tiny body and wait patiently and cry a little.
When he was four he swallowed a lollipop stick…..it does happen and in our case less than a minute after you say ” sit up you’re going to choke on that”. We went through an emergency room visit and then sent home only to receive an urgent sounding phone call to get him back right away and don’t feed him anything or let him drink anything. When we brought him in we waited through six IV attempts and tons of meds to finally get him to sleep. We had to walk away again only this time, we passed by the glass walled rooms of parents and children who looked as if they lived there. As I was leaving my child I saw the exhausted faces of parents who were dealing with far more than a lollipop stick. The reality hit me that they are worrying about the same thing I was worried about but i had the strangers assurance that we would be fine and going home in the next 24 hours or so. We returned to his room 45 minutes later to see him, yet again, with a tube down his throat watching the machines that were helping him breathe. We sat up all night and waited…he came home the next morning. So….here’s to the parents who wait up all night for many nights in a row. Who, even if they close their eyes for a few moments, have to grapple with worry and fear and never really rest. Here’s to the ones who know all the nurses by name and what shifts they are working because they have been there for weeks…and here’s to the nurses too.
Today I walked away one more time with my six year old life in the hands of the anesthstigiologist. I was a ” simple” “routine” “procedure” “he is only having his tonsils and adenoids out” I kept telling myself. But then the blue hatted strangers come in and start to use the word “surgery” and “risk factors” and your heart sinks a little. They give a little cup of something to drink and wait for him to feel a little “drunk” and then tell you to say goodbye…..my heart stops. I keep a brave face and only when I know he is out of hearing distance, a let out an uncontrollable gasp…the tears follow and once again my hero swoops in with that amazingly strong arm to scoop me up and reassure me. So….here’s to the dads who put their own fears aside because moms just aren’t always as good at that. Here’s to the moms and dads who put on brave faces and encourage and comfort a scared child when their own fears feel like they are swallowing them whole.
Here’s to the parents who deal with the life and death decisions on a daily basis and wonder if they are doing the right thing. Here’s to the parents who have kids with mental and emotional challenges who have to withstand the judgemental stares of other parents who think it’s a “parenting” problem. Here’s to the parents who are raising square pegs and victims of society who are always being told they aren’t “normal”. Here’s to you if you question your parenting skills daily but love your kids so much it hurts. You get up day after day and do your best and make mistakes and keep so much inside for the sake of others. I have had but a taste of what so many parents go through and ultimately realize that our kids are on their own journey and we can only walk beside them as long as they allow and even when they don’t stay far enough behind to catch them if they fall.
If you are a parent today who has to face these or any other challenges, know that you are loved and cared for by an amazing God and that He is walking along side of you and always close enough to catch you when you fall. He also has your children in His loving hands. Please be good to yourselves. Stand in the truth that you are not perfect but that you love your kids and in the end love always wins out. If you aren’t facing any of these challenges…hug your children and be grateful, and be kind to others because you never know what they are going through.