100 Days of Practice Round 2 Day 60 Part II: Motherhood on Stage

Great Christmas show today with Stanley and Grimm! A warm crowd at Cotuit, and the joy of doing a nice show almost erased all the stress that led up to it...

The hardest part of doing these special performances for Steve and I is the continual worry that our little one is somehow missing out, as we run around like lunatics getting ready for gigs. Sometimes when you're doing what you love, it's hard to remember that it's also work, and therefore, it's okay to do.

But still, the question: How to be a good parents AND good musicians? Living here in small town America, there are few models. Most parents around us lead a more straightforward life--and to many of them, our life seems odd, impossible, maybe glamorous at times, but mostly a cause for wonderment. "How do you do it?" What they don't say, but what is often clearly implied, is "WHY do you do it?" Why not just settle in, lead a quiet life, take the kids to soccer practice, go home, relax? Why do we do all these gigs? Because, I suppose, we have to. We are musicians, and we love music with all the passion in our hearts. This is what we do.

We are fortunate to have connected with Nikki Engstrom, who is managing the musician/mom life beautifully. She seems to have it down: Bring the kids along on the trip. Nikki's four were a highlight of Christmas show today. They joined us on stage for three pieces, including a beautifully sung "Jolly Old St. Nicholas" by her six year old daughter Haylen.

Overall, a great show. Sean Brennan did a tear-jerking version of "Christmas in the Trenches" and some snappy step dancing on our last set of reels. Steve gave us "Rising of the Moon" and reminded us of why we honor this season. Nikki, as always, rocked the house with some killer fiddle tunes, then we all played the hell out of some reels, and were joined throughout by stepdancers Haylee McHugh and Shauna Leonard, both of whom were in the Bridgewater State College Traditional Irish Music Ensemble this semester. We're looking forward to Highfield Hall next weekend!