Oh yeah, I'm a mother.

"Puss-in-Boots/Buzzlightyear/Tig-ger/Pirate" aka my son Harlen (who downright refuses to be called by his own name almost every day) comes barreling into a rehearsal with "Mom, I'm hungry,.. and I don't want an apple."  We're mid-song, and he knows to wait,.. but he's genuinely hungry.  When's the last time I fed him a proper meal?  I can't remember. He's eaten though, surely. I've got beans on, but that's not good for him really.  OH what to give him!  "just a sec hun" I say during the instrumental break, my brain multi-tasking away. Dirk is fiercely digging in,  fiddle lines are slaying the stratosphere of our insanely colored tenement parlor and I look over to see Harlen rolling his eyes..and I mean rolling them.  He's 4,  not 14 but this life is giving him a certain perspective on life, no doubt about it.  The song is finished and Harlen has gotten engaged in a full-on imagination game with his toys,  he's lost in a world all his own,...he's forgotten his own need.. and who could blame him?  Certainly not me, in fact, I was just like him in that way.  I'm not so sure I've changed much. The cold and startling reality is that his parents are awfully distracted people.  When we're here, we're often not here, and when we're gone,  we're far-gone.  I live in a constant state of guilt and a strange pride about the whole thing.  The truth is, Harlen is one of the people in my life I respect the most.  He's a lover, a forgiver, a remarkably generous spirit but above and beyond that, he puts up with the collective compulsive disorder we call music with such grace and patience,.. I have to remind myself at times that he's just a wee boy.  He has a late bedtime,.. but he always goes without a fight. In fact,  sometimes he tells me to go to bed... which is weird.  I am struck by his loving wisdom almost at every turn.  He is my superhero...
As it is right now I can hear him making airplane noises from the living room. I told him I wanted to write for a while, and he was off with and "ok, mom!" He's relieved. He doesn't want to get out of his pajamas or leave the house today.  The apple deon't fall too far from the tree, and like us, he's content without a playmate, playing with ideas and adventures more than anything else. But, It's gonna be one of those days.  I had to get an overnight sitter to attend and late night rehearsal with the Bevvies while Dirk is on the road with another band (The Southern Tenant Folk Union).  The season is just warming up,.. and I'm a little weary.  It will be the bussiest year yet, and while that's a good thing, I already miss him,.. and his Daddy.   Harlen sings and soars, stabs and straightens thorough every page of our book, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  He has informed my music and my life,... and everyday I'm forced to examine whether a negative thought should take up any headspace-for his sake.  I'm not a very conventional mother, but if Harlen is any testament to alternative means,..I feel hopeful for the other freaks out there.  He's just come up behind me, put a blanketon my back and said "There mama,  you are now Bat-man-mom!"  Fitting... but I wonder if there is a snack-bar in my tool belt.

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