Thursday, March 28, 2013

my thank you post from facebook...

i love the internet, even facebook ;) because when have we ever been able to so easily wish people happy birthday or any other sweet message we might want to send.

i just went through and liked all my fb happy birthdays, i hadn't planned to do that. i was just going to do this single thank you. but then i noticed there were so many that i hadn't even seen because of the way fb does notifications now all lumped together. so i went through them all, one by one. and it was wonderful. i think there were at last 40 that i didn't see yesterday. wow.

i love that i got wishes from people living right here in my house, close friends nearby and from states far away, old friends from high school, people in the unschooling community all over the world that i've never met and those that i have but rarely see, people i have become friends with online because of mutual interests (usually music) and on other social media sites (like tumblr), and from musicians that i admire from nearby and in other parts of the world whose music i adore.

never has there been a time when that could happen so quickly and effortlessly. some people might say that because it's so easy that it means less than a card in the mail. but i disagree. sure, it doesn't take but a second to wish someone a happy day, but that doesn't make its effect any less significant. they all, every single one, made me smile.

so that is why i will continue to wish people happy birthday on facebook, whether we are family, best friends or even if we aren't super close or don't really know each other...simply because it might just make someone smile.

Friday, March 15, 2013

what a difference a year can make

last year, samuel started recording music in his bedroom. he was frustrated with not being able to find anyone to start a band with and decided to just do it all himself. he got a 4 track app for his phone and went to work at it. he played all the instruments and did the vocals and mixing. he won’t let anyone listen to those early recordings but they were an important part of the process. then he saved up for an actual 8 track recorder and started making his first demo, again by himself, which he put up on bandcamp under the name that sadie gave him for his “band”…deathly the dog.

he continued to make more recordings and eventually did an acoustic open mic show with only a guitar. it went pretty well but he was itching to play electric with a full band. shortly after that silas started showing an interest in drumming for him (there was absolutely no bribery involved *cough cough*). pretty soon they were playing their first open mic together as a band. having silas on the drums was exactly what samuel needed to make his dream of having a band come true AND the confidence to get out in front of people and not be nervous. he said that he didn’t think he could do it without him now. silas grew to really love doing it and is a phenomenal drummer.
they started playing open mic nights regularly at the same coffeehouse to very receptive crowds who grabbed up all their CDs and talked to them after their sets. when they finally decided to play another venue, the place was empty by the time they went on and it was a bit disheartening but it was a good learning experience. PLUS, it was the night they met another local teen band called war penguin (liam, joe, and emma). and they’ve all been playing together regularly ever since. samuel now plays drums and banjo for WP and liam has become the bass player for DtD.
a few weeks ago, samuel, silas and liam headed to a real studio to lay down tracks for their first professionally recorded demo. i was so impressed with their performance and competence, they knew what to do and got 5 songs down in under 5 hours. last night samuel went back to do the vocal tracks (they had just done scratch tracks on the first day). he gave samuel a couple “mini mastered” cds to take home and make some notes of anything they wanted to change before doing the final master.
today, we put it on the bose and cranked it up. we talked about the early versions and how different these are. these new recordings sound amazing even in their work-in-progress state. when i took samuel to work we played it in the car and even with my slowly dying speakers it still sounded fantastic. 
i’m really excited about this demo. it shows how much they have learned individually and as a group in the last few months alone. how playing live shows has made their performance stronger and tighter. i’m blown away by the talent of these young people and i agree with what my friend who recorded them said “i can’t wait to see what they do next.”

photos taken by ren allen at the down home on march 6, 2013


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

my teen partners

i made a joke earlier today that watching any series on netflix was a full-time job. and it’s true. but it got me thinking about the many different “jobs” i have had over the years under the single title of “mom.”
this year all three of the kids are turning milestone ages: 13, 16, and 18. my mind has been on this a lot lately. i’m reminded of when they were all 5 and under and people would ask what it was like to have 3 young children. i would often describe it as having 3 very different jobs with 3 different bosses. each child having unique needs and how you have to learn how to meet each of those needs, that you cannot parent all children the same. even how you show love to each child can be different depending on the child’s personality, emotional needs and receptive ability. 
it took me a few years to realize that while that may have been how i described it, it wasn’t necessarily how i experienced it. i found better words for it as the kids got older. i found that i didn’t really see my children as bosses but as partners. i knew early on that i was seeing the world through each of their individual lenses and experiencing right along with them and facilitating when needed. but that depth was always hard for me to describe to people.
now that they are all in their teens (well almost, sadie being still 12…but really she has been a teen since she was 3) i still feel like we have a beautiful partnership and i continue to experience new things through them.
i remember people warning me that i would have 3 teenagers one day (gasp!) and that i told them right away how much i looked forward to that day. it is here and it is awesome…actually even better than i thought it might be. i was right, but i still had no idea.