This has been a weird week of balance for me. I’m running everything at BabyLove on my own– Lora, my other educator, had her baby earlier this month. She also does the books around here, so….it’s interesting. My grandmother has been ill, and I do a lot to take care of her and visit her, so that’s been difficult. It’s been interesting to find my footing in this situation. I’m the granddaughter. I have two young kids who I still need to take care of. And then yesterday, while I was working on financials and grants with my friend for The BabyLove Alliance, Ltd., came the sad news that Prince passed away.
I am heartbroken.
I’ve been trying so hard to process everything that’s going on, but I wanted to share a piece of me and my identity as a mom with you.
One of the things that most people don’t talk about is that when you become a parent, especially a mom, for the first time, your entire identity gets shredded and you have to instantly begin this very long process of giving up parts of who you are and replacing it with new things. It’s a very, very painful process. We all go through it, we just don’t talk about it. And while I want to talk about that loss and that mourning, what I really want to focus on is what happens on the other side of this process: You get to build your life as an individual again.
For me, it happened when I knew my youngest was going to go to preschool starting that fall. That was 5 years ago. That realization is what created BabyLove. But another part of who I am blossomed: the part of me who dove straight into music. I developed a deep love of Arcade Fire, even attending their Reflektor concert with a friend I met here at BabyLove. I made a little video of my finger dressed up like Billy Idol and won the very last pair of tickets into his acoustic show at the Turf Club. In the last year, I’ve attended more concerts that I have collectively in my life. Jeremy Messersmith getting blood from his zombie costume on his guitar? Best Halloween ever.
But one of the COOLEST things that’s come from this is that I’ve been able to share my love of music with my kids. They know things I didn’t at their ages: they have a decent grasp on the career of The Beatles. They have songs that they love to dance to in the kitchen with me. After I found a bunch of Roger Miller albums on vinyl, they started to listen to them with me. Now they know all the words to classics like “King of the Road” and “Chug-a-lug.” My daughter even informed us that one of our favorite Roger Miller songs was actually about him killing himself. Oops. I was also really excited when I found the Monkees album with “Zilch” on it, which…..oh, never mind.
I have shared with my son my deep, deep, deeeeeeep love of Queen. He now spends his days with Queen music blaring in his room. We have talks about Freddie, and Brian, and Roger. We talk about the music videos. We talk about their discography. We talk about the tribute concerts, and we talk about Adam Lambert. And you know what? That’s been really cool to connect with him like that.
Last summer, my youngest sister and I took my daughter with us to Rock the Garden. Once of the art museums co-host this event with a local radio station, and one of the acts was one that both my daughter and I adore. Taking my daughter with us was AWESOME. She had a blast, we had a blast introducing her to the finer points of concert-going, like smelly porta-potties and ear plug options. It was so fun to be doing something that makes me so very joyful, and watching her also respond with so much joy she was almost exploding.
So while I mourn Prince today, I will be thankful for the joy his music brought me the last couple of years as I figured out who I am as a mom, wife, and woman. And this morning, as I cranked the radio and rocked out with my son to Prince’s music, I’m thankful to find this part of me and to share it with others.
I’m rocking the purple today. Take care of yourselves, and be kind.