Dancing to Sleep: a meditation on the go

A few of my recent personal journal entries have revolved around the joys and challenges of bringing a baby INTO an existing creative career. So far I haven't found a how-to guide about how to take a kid on the road, or in the studio with you.

My friend Thalia keeps saying I should write a book about our first seven months of experimenting with how to raise a kid in a non-conventional setting (i.e. with parents who have non-conventional jobs/schedules, who travel, who are trying to share the parenting equally). A single blog post is a good first step...

So far, bringing our son along with us on creative endeavors has meant a lot of schlepping, quite a few laughs, and just a few melt-downs. It's been funny, sometimes trying, and almost always deeply rewarding. We are so lucky to be able to bring our child along with us--TO our shows and INTO our creative lives.

Raising a road-ready son together has meant sharing the privileges, responsibilities, and the ownership of what we want it all to mean/how we want it to go down. The deep challenge is to both continue to contribute ideas about how to do things, how to find some consistency whether at home and on the road, how to plan to avoid undue stress/uncertainty (sitters, food, and lodgings need to be lined up), while also figuring out how to be co-authors in each moment. There's not a lot of time to step back and reflect, since life is always, well, happening. So there is a constant call for us to bend and experiment as we go.

That's the inspiration behind our rendition of the traditional Irish lullaby "Lu La Lo." This is a little ballad which I adapted heavily, and which Matt and I arranged to reflect the peace and restfulness that can be summoned in the middle of movement, activity. We recorded "Lu La Lo" and shared it with our fans (it's still up for free at the "Maternity EP" Page of our website) during the first weeks Nigel was born.

Many lullabies are slow, rocking, sung at times of repose. But there are also times when you can/need to support and love your baby, and to offer him a sling in which to rest, while you move through sound-checks, or kitchen cleaning sessions, or concerts. So far, our little chicken enjoys sleeping in silence... and he is also able to find peace and sleep if bedtime comes along and people are still playing music.

Life is always happening, and we three are doing our best to dance with it.

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