An Entire Month at Home
If you don't count the two months we took off for maternity leave (which I don't), for the first time in many years we had the great gift of an entire month at home this past December. Especially with a four year old now, I wanted to savor the anticipation of Christmas, bake the cookies, practice the songs, open the doors of the Advent calendar each day and focus on the glowing candles and colored lights as the days grew darker. As someone who has a particular fondness for holiday preparations, I had been really pushing for it. Ok, maybe David would say I put my foot down. All year I'd been saying, "Let's not tour in December this year, at least before Christmas." We compromised and left on tour Dec 26. A win for all. The month at home was so much more fulfilling than I imagined it would be. I've been in this mode for so long where Home is a retreat place, not a place you ever really settle into. Home is a temporary comfort, a place to unpack and repack bags, savor the feeling of familiar pillows under your head, even your own refrigerator. I guard our time at home, saying yes to as few social gatherings as possible and trying to get in the car as little as possible. Our life on the road is inherently a social endeavor. We not only live as a small tribe in the van, but stay with friends, try to squeeze in meals with friends in faraway cities, meet with musicians and industry folks, schedule interviews, visit radio stations, and connect with our fans after the show. Most parents of young kids know privacy is a rare and fleeting thing, but parenthood combined with tour life means privacy is something I barely even remember exists. The month at home reminded me that home can be a quiet place if you are there longer than a week at a time. It can even get almost boring -- something I crave with all the newness we have in our touring life. I was able to create a regularity that made me remember the joy of going out to see friends and connecting. I was able to sneak upstairs to my little project room and have some privacy. What did I do? I don't remember. Thought about things, wrote a bit, napped once or twice. But the regularity of place was such a gift. I treasured it. When I hear the term staycation, I feel like no one could possibly understand it the way I do. And I really hope to do it again soon.