The Parent Trip
By Shelby Cain
I may be going through some sort of crisis. I shudder to get anywhere near the phrase ‘mid-life’, so I’ll just say crisis. I have joined a band. Or maybe I should say started a band, because there was no band before my two girlfriends and I decided to be in one. Between us, we have eight kids under eight. Hence the crisis.
We have an annual girls weekend, and a few hours and drinks into this year’s trip we decided we needed to come up with some sort of obligation that brought us together kid-free more than once a year. If not, we may be doomed to eek out the odd hour here and there until the kids left for college. And please, don’t get me wrong. We love our kids, and love spending time with them…ninety percent of the time. But everyone needs to shed the parent hat and try on a few different ones now and then, you know?
So we started a band. It may have been a bit of liquid courage talking, but we decided if we were going to keep our original momentum we had to set a goal. A summer gig. We shook on it. The next few months we sent a few emails regarding instruments, song choices, band names…more band names. Not a lot of playing happened. I have strummed a guitar at the odd campfire, so I inherited the role of lead guitar and vocals. Awesome. My one friend had started playing the violin when she returned from our trip…a little ambitious maybe…but she was practicing regularly and surprising herself with the enjoyment she was experiencing. Our third member was in a bit of a conundrum. She had tried several instruments in her life, specifically drums, but wasn’t sure what she could apply herself to in order to make our summer deadline. (She ended up playing the harmonica and a cardboard box). On top of that, her dad is a famous Canadian musician, and was following our little endeavor with avid interest. No pressure.
So as the summer began and our big date loomed we found our crisis creeping up the priority list. We managed about ten practices, two songs that weren’t horrible, and hours of laughter and discussion that had nothing to do with kids. Priceless. As for the band name, the musician dad wanted us to be the Hoochie Kootenays. We went with Wild Honey.
We’re working on our third song…and enjoying every step of the journey. My advice- come up with a crazy goal, totally outside your comfort zone, and then take some baby-free baby steps towards it. You may find something, or someone, you forgot you lost.