From my late teens to mid 20s, indie rock was my primary affiliation. Then I dropped the whole thing like a hot potato when I discovered the wild, uncharted territory of the internet (it was singular back then). Now, after a long, winding road peppered with media output and children, I am, it seems, “back”.
All things being relative, we will take the word “back” here to describe the fact that I am once again playing in a band and that this band, which goes by the name of Ma’am, is playing its first show this Saturday night. Of course, my kids want to come. And unfortunately, the show is early enough that they actually COULD.
So now it’s up to me to make the call: Do I really want my children to come see me play in a rock band?
When I was first trying to run through the various possibilities in my mind, I thought: On the one hand, they deserve to come! Who loves my music more than they do? No one. At least this week. And after being deprived of motherly care for those crucial bedtime hour practices, shouldn’t they be allowed to see the fruits of my labor? But, on the other hand. It’s at a bar. It will be loud. And is it even good for children to see their mother on stage in this manner? Could it create some bizarre formative cross-wiring? Once, when I came home after getting my hair done in a particularly extreme manner, my son took one look at me, frowned, and said: “You look like someone who would be in a rock band. Not like someone who would take care of us.” I promptly informed the children that having rock star hair does not affect one’s mothering abilities. But in my vulnerable post-salon state, the accusation stuck in my craw. Who was I kidding, wearing two tone hair when my one daily trip out of the house was to drop-off? I called my hairdresser in the morning and demanded she tone it down, came home looking less like Debbie Harry, more like Debbie Reynolds. The kid said he liked it better before.
While I’m impressed at his ability to integrate so quickly, I have slightly less hope for my own defragmentation skills. The mother me lives on a different plane than the music making me—or for that matter, the anything-making me. I love taking care of my kids. But trying to do it while I’m doing almost anything else can be a recipe for frustration. And having my kids around and trying not to take care of them (or at least worry about them) is its own exercise in futility. I’m pretty sure having all that going on the first time I’ve played a show in I don’t even want to count how many years is a bad idea.
Maybe at the second show.
(In case you’re interested, you can hear some Ma’am on our Facebook page.)