ON SUBURBAN SNOBBERY (MINE), BEING WEIRD & TOUGH CHOICES
End of the summer. That time where you do one last special thing. One last big adventure, BBQ, beach or camping trip.
For us it was our 2nd annual neighbourhood block party. When we moved to this suburban neighbourhood a couple of years ago, we had no idea how lucky we’d be. In fact this city mouse (me), was rather snobbish about it all in thinking that I probably wouldn’t make many friends or have all that much in common with my new neighbours. To be clear, it’s not that I thought (or think), that I was/am too cool for the suburbs. What I speak of is this idea that I have in my brain; that I’m too weird for most people. The damaged one. I’m usually pretty straight up about where I come from and my experiences in my life that have made me who I am today. I have opinions and express myself differently than a lot of the women I meet.
I don’t usually identify or bond with people unless they’ve been through similar experiences to my own. I suppose that much is true for most. There’s just more oddballs in big cities. We gravitate toward the erratic pulse, the ebb and flow of a big city that can swallow us whole; a nomad with no ties – if we so desire it to. I became a city girl myself on the run many years ago and I always considered it home, always found my way back to where no one knew me, only those who I chose to let in gained admittance. We all know living in a small suburb in Northern Canada is the exact opposite of all of that. Sure you can hide a lot behind closed doors, but I’m not much for that. I let my ‘freak flag’ fly as is.
I was right for the most part. If it weren’t my beautiful friends who already lived here, (one of the main reasons we chose this small city), I’d be like so many other lonely mothers who live out in the boonies with partners/husbands who travel a lot for work. Which, as it turns out – isn’t going to be an issue for us anymore.
As some of you may know, the close friends whom I speak of are in fact like family to us. They also happen to be the co-leaders (a husband and wife team), of the band Digging Roots that Trevor plays in. Make that past tense.
A big shock for many of you who know us or who are regulars here. It still feels a little surreal. Trev played bass with them for nearly six years and that working relationship is a big part of what bonded our families so tightly together. There were many reasons for Trevor’s decision, some personal and not a part of my story to share here and some based on hard realities.
Ones that we couldn’t have for-seen coming. You know, the usual stuff that causes stress for new(ish) parents; finances, job security, wanting benefits, etc. So there’s all that grown-up stuff. There’s also the reality of how much time we were spending apart as a family during these fleeting early years of parenting. It hasn’t been easy and we thought and dreamt of all sorts of ways we could make it work before we were actually doing it. Touring together, combining creative forces on big projects together, sharing a nanny, all sorts of things.
Some of that stuff, as wonderful as it sounds, doesn’t work with babies and toddlers in tow. Or with other careers and deadlines and bills and juggling to keep it all going. How many people with young children do you know with two full-on careers on the go? Music isn’t the only thing Trev has going for him. He’s had his own web development company for years and has worked full time, or more than full-time ever since I’ve known him doing that alone. Imagine touring with a band and trying to record an album and band practices and being a part of the creative/business aspect of being in a career band on top of that? Triple that with the responsibilities (and natural desire to be a present, patient and loving dad), of fatherhood and home? And those are just the reasons I feel comfortable is sharing here. There was/is more to it.
No matter how much he wanted to do both, something just had to change. So hard decisions have been made because two of the biggest reasons are the two little kids who were missing their dad an awful lot, much of the time.
Will this affect our friendship? No. Although making the decision and knowing how much work would be involved for our dear friends in getting a bass player – that was hard. They’ve been so patient, kind and inspiring to Trev’s journey as a bassist. A big commitment from them too. So there is heartbreak on both sides. We’ll have to find new ways to be together and nurture one another as we move forward into this new stage of our relationships. We still live down the street from each-other after all. Rave and Sho are still sponsors to our children and I love theirs like they were my own nephews. Our kids are tight, theirs being quite a bit older than ours. They are role models to Wyndham and Abby. Sho’s son Skye is one of Abby’s sponsors. She calls him, ‘my Kye.’ They and we know each-other deep down; all the grand and dark bits like not many friends or even family do. (Or can.) ShoShona and I have built a sister-hood. <<< If you watch that video and happen to be a softie in a badass shell like me then you might tear up a bit. I myself just watched it and am ugly crying, so. Our extended families have become close, I’m now a sponsor to ShoShona’s niece and developing awesome friendships with her sisters. Sho’s mom is a guiding light in my life; as an elder, a survivor, and an honest, kick-my-ass-when-I-need-it-mentor.
Trev not being in the band isn’t going to wash all of that away. We plan on laughing about all of the beautiful and crazy times we’ve had when we’re grey and curmudgeonly. What does this all really mean? It means that Trev has decided to begin the search to take a senior position with a big firm in the big city. In mourning his departure from music for a while he cut off all of his beautiful hair and shaved his beard. (Almost. I had a few ways to convince him from going completely straight. Sheesh.) It means that if he can’t work from home and has to commute everyday, we may (MAY) decide to avoid that by downsizing and moving back to the city. Of course, we really want to avoid that because look at all we’ve built here! Our own little community. We’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, we wrapped up the summer together with some other friends, family and our neighbours. All pictures courtesy the exquisitely talented Ratul Debnath of Image Pros (Photography).
As for the mister and I? We seem to be doing more than fine these days. We’re actually enjoying each-other’s company again and re-discovering our friendship. The love never left and that’s how we’ve made it. More on that to come.
I’d like to thank Ratul for coming to our humble little block party and taking all of these fabulous shots. You really should go and check out his photography. Dude is obscenely talented. Blows me away and leaves me inspired every-time I look at his work.