“I get by with a little help from my friends”
– The Beatles
Refueling in the CA sunshine at the cleanest and kindest laundromat I’ve ever been to, things began to look brighter. The generator part we needed was at the auto parts store, the laundry was getting done, and I got to take a “bath” with warm water from the bathroom sink at the nice laundromat. I had a few moments to reflect on the beauty around me that comes in the form of my friends:
Kim. One of the hardest workers I’ve ever met. This woman had her face deep in the fumes of that damn generator for at least 2 straight days, stopping only to take periodic puffs of her asthma inhaler and counteract the fumes of the engine. This battle is still raging, and her tenacity and sheer will power to defeat the beast is astounding. When she isn’t moonlighting as an auto mechanic, she’s on her knees with a DustBuster in one hand and a tub of Lysol wipes in the other hand, deep cleaning our home. She has driven us through some of the most insane parts of our journey, and has schlepped gear in and out of venues like Marshawn Lynch plowing through 6 sad defenders. All of this matured strength exposed while shining an unbelievably brilliant smile, bookended by 2 dimples that cradle her childhood secrets and dreams. I’m certain there is little this amazing person can’t do. She is powerful and determined and a rock among pebbles. I am honored she is my friend.
Sandi. Known to my darling boy as “Sandi Lou Who”, this woman has become a maternal Goddess on this trip. Wiping noses, doing puzzles, making lunches, taking Rudyard for walks and to parks, potty monitoring, kid-movie watching and absolutely loving our boy. Sandi has patiently listened to our dramatic stories night after night when we come in, ecstatic or defeated from whatever gig we just played. She calms us all and centers us, she makes drinks and makes beds and makes it all better. I have spent hours talking with her about everything imaginable, and she is easy and fun (and ridiculously quick to apologize unnecessarily if she even thinks she has offended someone or let them down). Her life has has huge heartbreak that she has beautifully woven into the fabric of the blanket that she drapes over each one of us with love and understanding. Sandi is definitely the Wendy to our collective Peter Pan. I am honored she is my friend.
My Jared. Cool as a cucumber, cautious, protective, inquisitive, stubborn, and rarely ruffled, this man is what makes everything in my life worth doing. Traveling with three women and a toddler (yes, it sounds like a sitcom), Jared could easily lose his mind. But as I watch him juggle, friend, partner, father, driver, musician, designer and “Fredeener” (a term we have for his inexplicable ability to take the longest way possible to do most everything. Thorough as it may be, it tends to make the fast paced women a bit crazy), I am continuously amazed at his balance and careful prioritizing of each thing. He remains light-hearted in the face of adversity and never pushes away a loving moment offered up by his wife or son. He is never too busy to kiss a hurt knee, or too manly to rub noses with his lady in public. A true gentleman with a thirst for knowledge and desire to do the right thing, I am honored he is my friend.
I can not leave out Rudyard. Although somewhat of a pawn in this game of tour that we are playing, Rudy has shown an ability to grow and thrive even in the most jostling of situations. Sleep here, play there, go with this person, be quiet, go potty, eat this weird thing, stay still… But have a good time. I cannot imagine his world view right now. I know children are resilient and incredibly adaptive, but when you have absolutely no control over anything and you’re marionetted around all the time, sometimes you’ve just gotta cry. But he rarely does (especially if his fellow Leo-Aunt Kim-gives him the side-eye). He has taught us all so much about love and patience and has forced us to see past ourselves on a number of levels. This baby is becoming a big boy right before our very eyes, and I am excited to see the young man he chooses to be each day. When he holds my face in his sticky hands and whispers, “Mommy, your pink lips are beautiful.”, I am absolutely gone. I am honored that he is my little friend.
This is a look backstage. Beyond jobs, generators, music, and all of it. These are the pillars that surround me. These are my friends.