Sucked Back In

I was staring at my computer screen, finally back home and mostly recovered from my case of “childbed fever”.

My baby was quietly slumbering next to me in his stroller; I had actually put him in it awake after I’d put his older sister down for her afternoon nap.  I had a million things to catch up on with my Rick Springfield work, and the only possible time I’d be able to make any sort of dent in the pile of emails and redesign work was while Melinda was asleep.   I had heard her protesting from above for a while after I put her down, but I was single minded in my focus; the phone had already rung three times this morning between my other two partners asking for the status of this or that.

I was honestly starting to wonder if doing all of this was not such a great idea.  I felt anxious all of the time.  If it wasn’t  fans bickering about this or that, it was the three of us running the fan outreach bickering between ourselves.  If I wasn’t answering an endless monotony of answering emails about Rick’s fan mail address, then it was questions about his citizenship status or his touring plans.

I wasn’t getting paid.  If I had more time to think about it, I might actually sit down and calculate the pros and cons of where I was spending my time and energy.  While working and interacting with a celebrity was high on the coolness factor, it was coming at a cost to everything else in my life.   My daughter already spent too many hours in front of Baby Einstein videos; I tried to console myself that they were learning tools, but I knew better.  You were supposed to talk to the kids and interact with them while they watched, not use them as a baby sitter.

And now with another baby, what was I going to do?  At least before I could manage to go to enough concerts that it made some of the craziness worth it.  The dinners, the sitting backstage, the meetings with record people, the free (often front row) concert tickets;  each amazing experience I’d had with my teenage crush was added to my sweet story of how I’d made my sad dreams from twenty years ago come true.  But now, with two children under the age of two at home, I’d hardly be able to get to any shows this year.  I’d only been to a few last year. It was an awful lot to take on without any real payout.

I looked over at my baby, his tiny fist curled up underneath his chin, and yearned to reach into the stroller, scoop him up and lay with him on the sofa until Melinda woke from her nap.  My gaze went back and forth several times before I saw the inbox number jump from 145 to 160; 15 unread messages sucked me back in.  I clicked on the Mail icon and looked at the sender names.  How odd, I thought.  One was from my father, who hardly ever emailed me.

“I’m going to be in Las Vegas next week for work.  I remembered you said that if I ever went, you could maybe set me up with tickets and backstage passes to see Rick in his show there.  Is that still something you would be able to do?  Let me know.  Love, Dad.”

I smiled to myself.  Just when I’d nearly talked myself out of all of this mayhem, it is my own father who pulls me right back down into the mud.  My hands flew to the home row and I started typing a response without even thinking twice. “Of course, Dad, just let me know the dates you’ll be there….”


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