Last night I had a dream that I was about to walk into my classroom to teach the first class of the year. On the way in, I realized that I forgot the cd I was going to bring in for a listening exercise that was virtually the entire assignment for the day. I had about one minute to come up with something else we could do on the first day of class. While I was racking my brain, I met my supervisor and a board member, who vocalized how thrilled they were to have me teaching at their school. They had decided to sit in on my first class… I walked to the front of the room, still trying to figure out how to occupy 50 minutes of class time. I looked out at my students. Instead of primary students, they had suddenly transformed into college students, and I had that familiar feeling of having to prove myself to students who don’t believe I am much older or wiser than they are… I started talking, introducing myself. No one was listening. I began teaching something that I had thought up quickly in my head, watching my supervisor vigorously taking notes. The students were talking to one another, completely ignoring me. I was speaking as loudly as possible, and after a minute or two, I began to lose my voice and requested a microphone. While someone went to get it for me, I was thinking that this would bide me a little time to figure out what I was going to teach. Then I woke up.
The summer is gone! Tomorrow is my real first day of school. I don’t think I’m really as anxious about starting our new schedule as my dreams may imply, but I am aware that a major shift is happening for us. The summer has been so wonderful in so many ways. We have realized so many dreams–we had a son and have found the space in our home and hearts for him. We created a studio in our home and have steadily been recording our songs–a dream we have had for as long as we have known one another. I have been able to really focus on being a mommy and taking care of things around the house. I have made some serious improvements in cooking (learning to make meals ahead of time, trying new recipes, working the freezer…), learned to juggle schedules in my brain while packing diaper bags and pouring juice, and have created a nearly definitive list of the places that a mommy and three children should and should not go. I have also come to a clearer understanding that most of my purpose in life is wrapped up in these little ones. What an amazing thing to devote your life to. (While I am typing this, Kells is smiling at me. Miraculously, I have learned to type on the laptop and hold/feed the baby at the same time!) Randy has worn his impression into the desk-chair, working long hours on research, recording, testing mic-placement, singing, playing instruments… He has been inspiring and tireless, working around a noisy family in the midst of one rash of chaos after another. I have never seen him work so hard at anything. I am so proud to have married such a brilliant man who is so devoted to his purpose.
We had hoped to have the album finished by the end of the summer. This was an ambitious goal, and we knew it at the time. But on the other side of the summer, we see that it is going to take a while to finish all 17 songs. We feel such an urgency to finish, because so many people have contributed to the project and because we feel that apart from raising our children, it is our most important work and ministry. It seems so right to be spending our life recording our music. It has been really hectic at times–especially since the mics are set up in our living room. Whenever Randy records guitars or vocals, we either have to leave or be sound asleep! This has been nearly ridiculous, and we have spent countless hours at friends’ and families’ houses, at grocery stores, libraries, in the car, playing the quiet game, playing the whisper game, etc. But we have found a way to make it work. And we have all learned to be more flexible. In the not-so-distant future, we are making plans to finish off a corner of our basement for a proper sound-proof studio. Then we can stay home no matter what Randy is working on. We hope this will speed up the process of recording–if not for this project than the next.
Tomorrow life changes for us. We go back to school, back to teaching, back to piecing life back together. The summer has been such a blessing for us as it has given both Randy and me a concentrated time to learn, work, and grow. We will be going back to teaching and giving lessons, taking turns taking care of the little ones and working. We are continuing to record, taking the time to do it right. For ourselves and for all the people who have believed in us enough to contribute to the project. Thank you. We hope you will find our work really beautiful. It means so much to us. We feel so strongly that we are doing what we are meant to do, and we will continue tirelessly until it is finished.
Tonight I will be saying goodbye to a beautiful summer. Thankfully, I am prepared for my first day of school. Hopefully I will have sweet dreams…
Thanks for reading this post. I wish the same for you.
2 Comments Add yours
Hey, Mack! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE reading your posts! You are so talented and amazing and I’m so honored to be your eldest sis! 🙂 I tried to leave a reply to this post the other night from my phone, but it kept “sending” and I don’t know if it actually ever did! Anyway, I think I said something like I was stressed out and nervous MYSELF just reading your dream and that I was glad you woke up before it got any worse!!! I HATE that kind of dream!!! But the good news is that IT WAS A DREAM! 🙂 You are AMAZING and I’m so happy for all the little children whose lives you will influence through teaching…not the least of which are the ones who live at your house…Rosie, Paloma and Baby Kells! They are precious, and I have a feeling they are going to be just as musical and resourceful as their parents!!! I love you! ~ Mel
Don’t know how I missed responding to this in the first place. I love you, Melanie. You are amazing. I will always consider you the first fan of my music! : ) Thank you for always encouraging me to perform (even when I was too embarrassed to do it) and for giving me a guitar so I could write songs with it. You are such a beautiful person, inside and out. I am always thankful that I grew up in a family with you.