We are just on the other side of the baby days around here. For me, that stirs up enough emotion to write a heart-wrenching song. Instead, I listen to them. On repeat.
It's not all sad, though. We're finding a bit more time for ourselves. And as part of looking forward, JB and I made a pact to find something we both love and commit to doing it for a year—outside of parenthood and, perhaps, inside of who we were before.
Besides the moments he is with our kids, one of my favourite times to watch his face is during a concert. It's a beautiful reminder of what lives in the heart of his responsible outer self.
The first time I stepped into his off-campus room, a week after we met, I noticed the electric guitar propped up in the corner. He's smart and kind and gorgeous AND he plays rock and roll? I could hardly understand why I was the one he brought there.
In those early years, music was everything. I remember the way he grabbed my hand so we could run up several flights of concrete stairs to watch his favourite band Pavement play with Beck and Sloan on the roof of a parking garage in Detroit. The night I stood beside him on a grassy hill at a Beastie Boys concert, I wondered if I could ever rise to his level of cool.
He was the kind of boy who went into mosh pits and did other unimaginable things at concerts. I was the kind of girl who sat in fold-down seats and rose for encores (but only if everyone else did first). And yet, it worked. He came to the Stratford Festival and sat through a Holly Cole concert. He saw (and enjoyed) two Tori Amos shows (though he draws the line at the Indigo Girls).
On the weekend, we saw the über-talented (and married) Canadian duo, Luke Doucet and Melissa McLelland, otherwise known as Whitehorse. Our seats were amazing. The venue magical. Their chemistry filled the room.
And as the show went on, it reinforced all the feelings I have about sharing music with JB.
Although I've made several attempts at different instruments and even sang in a choir for a few years, I am not a natural musician. It's work for me. It's not for him. He can hear it and learn it. He can pick up melodies and chord progressions without reading the sheet music. And, oh my word, he can sing.
When I listen to music, I lean into the lyrics and look for the stories. JB leans into the musicians and listens to the notes. Together, we hear the perfect song.
"...at any point Doucet was capable of ripping off a world-class guitar riff. That he meted these out sparingly is testament to the grander ambitions of the duo." ~ Mike Suave
It was a reminder that our shared amibition of returning to something we both love was exactly what we needed—even if we didn't realize it until we'd already begun.