What a day. What a week. What a month.
You are thriving in your new school. Soon, we will be in our new apartment and it will be so much better for you. There is a beautiful tree outside of your window and Spring’s showered it with little birds.
I learned a lesson this month. It will not mean anything to you, unless you become a parent.
I have sincerely admired and genuinely respected the work of Van Morrison since I began studying music. He’s a troubadour. He’s a poet. He’s a storyteller. He’s a singer. He’s a performer. He’s an artist. He’s a faithseeker. It’s too hard to put him in boxes. None of these do the trick. You love him. Thank God.
Mommy has always wanted to hear him live…and I finally had my chance. Not only that, but I could take you! Van is, probably as I type this, in New Orleans. This plan took my excitement at hearing Van to a whole new level. Your first concert? Van. AT THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ FESTIVAL. VAN AT THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ FESTIVAL. I was doing it. No question. Tomorrow morning, I was going to fly us to New Orleans at 6AM, take you for your first beignet at Café du Monde, go hear him at 11:30AM (which is what the first website said was his time), and fly you back here in time to have you in bed at 7PM. Exhausting? Yes. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Yes.
A few weeks ago, more things were printed about the man I refer to as “your father” one morning. One hour after that news, I received an email from the Jazz Festival (I’d written BEGGING to be allowed to bring you backstage for a picture) unceremoniously informing me Van was not performing at 11:30AM, he was playing at night. When I left work to go pick you up, I listened to one of my favorite Van songs, “Stranded.” I felt it then, I feel it tonight.
I canceled it all. I had to use the money I’d used for our flights and rental car to pay legal fees because of the Swiss mess.
As I hear Van in my head tonight and remember reading the emails that day, as I imagine what it will feel like in New Orleans tomorrow when he’s performing and I’m working on my laptop, as I reflect back on how it felt to miss something important to me today because you needed to be home and napping…I can honestly tell you I’d make those decisions every time.
You are worth never hearing Van. You are worth all the money I have in my bank account to protect you. You are worth sitting at home and playing the same puzzle for the 23rd time because you scream, “Look, Momma! That’s a rectangle!” with such unbearable bliss you can barely handle it every time you put the last piece in place. You are worth it all.
Your chance to see and experience new things is my goal – I had that chance. Lindy and Pop Pop let me. I soaked it up. Van will not be your first concert, but you WILL have an awesome first, second, third, and fourth concert. I don’t know what they’ll be…but, I’ll take you to cool ones. Not as cool as Van, but cool.
Your ability to feel safe and secure is another goal – they protected us from some things that were scary. I think children should be children. Remember that when you are a parent. Even if the circumstances are difficult, as ours are. You have NO clue the circumstances are difficult because it’s my priority that you do not.
Being a parent is a shift. It is a shift from what I wanted all the time to what you want/what is best. People use the terms “appropriately selfish” and “self care” and other reminders that one cannot lose one’s self in his/her child. I get that. I am not lost. In fact, I am found. You found me. You made me a Momma. Your Momma.
Van will have to sing to someone else tomorrow. I’ll be sitting, right here, in my bed…listening to another beautiful tune: YOUR SNORING.