Sean and I sat up watching a 2 year old Sugarland concert on Palladia the other night. At first I just smiled, loving the delicious oblivion of cuddling and softly singing along as the girls slept. I’m not sure when the shift happened, but I felt the tug, that unmistakable tightening in your chest and jaw as the tears begin their march from inside to out.
There was no hiding, no turning back. I allowed the tears to come in waves as I watched the lead singer, luminous and irresistible in her exhilaration. I found myself wondering her age, imagining her provenance—
small southern town?
parents still married?
It was silly, but as she sang the anthem of little girls emerging from babies to successes I wanted to know her story, the story of her parents. I think it was in that musing that the biggest hit, the mack truck that crumpled me, came- it was in seeing more of my daughters in her than myself.
I remember Alanis blaring from my apartment as Christina showed up with Zima and chips. I remember Ani DiFranco melodically leading us in a chorus of “Fuck you and your untouchable face.” Faces of boys, the laughter of girls, the marrow of my unbridled, unworried days. I wept as I thought of the living ahead of each girl. I wondered which girl would date the player, which girl would fall for the badder-than-bad-boy (or girl, makes no never mind), which girl would sit wishing.
I mark time in songs and milestones, but the purest living, the most potent time travel is in going back to moments with our girls. If they’re like me, the songs Sean and I play will remind them of their childhood and, one day, some gorgeous woman will be working the stage, maybe slinking maybe stomping, but whatever she’s doing will be for them. To them. Their songs, their time.
There is not a part of me that wouldn’t give everything I have to ensure that they make it from baby girl to whatever they want.