I awoke to a mess of curly hair atop a pink princess dress peaking around our bedroom door. She scuffled to the bed and crawled her way onto her Daddy’s chest, head tucked into his neck. “I think I should eat an Oreo,” she whispered.
Good morning of a new year.
I lay there thinking about the past year – the traveling, the shows, breathtaking places we had seen, songs written, mistakes, failures, accomplishments. We have had the privilege of visiting some of the most incredible places; been able to share beautiful musical experiences with people all over the world. It has been amazing to say the least. And I’m filled with gratitude.
And then I think of the times no one else sees. The equally tough and magical moments our tiny family of three share: Dancing around the house wild to one of our favorite musicals. The ecstatic joy when our daughter learned to draw an “A.” Walking around the house on Daddy’s feet. Michael and I finding ourselves slow dancing in the kitchen after a long hard day. Lying awake at night, just letting the silence comfort. Cuddling in a pile of blankets on the sofa after a long time being away from home, sun coming in the window just right, and seeing my girl twirling around the house, stopping just a moment to shoot a smile my way. These are the best parts. The tiny moments that sparkle and beg for our attention. The moment like this one here, waking to a new year with this man that has seen the very best and worst of me, and a small raggedy wide-eyed girl kissing our faces while recalling her night dreams.
God, I don’t want those moments to end. And I don’t want to miss them by looking for the next grand thing. It’s the practice of seeing. Seeing what is right in front of me in it’s fullest. The practice of feeling it all. It’s easy to look toward some future amazing and miss the magic right in front of me.
The song “The Best Part” was written because of these moments. In the band, we joke how it ended up being “the sex jam” when it was inspired from family moments. But it was a one-take deal. In the studio, we got in a circle, played it, and it just felt right. We tried re-recording a few things, fixing the mistakes or the parts we didn’t like. But cutting it up just ruined the vibe that was present.
Sometimes the cheesy-ness of parallels makes me cringe. The “You know, when I was a kid, I fell in a ditch”...story goes on and on...then....” but you know, life will have all kinds of ditches, it’s how you climb out that counts.” Cringe.
BUT. I can’t help but make a parallel between how this song was recorded and what it means to me (I apologize if you are cringing). There were little things I wanted to change: less vibrato here, less breath there, better tone. But picking it apart sucked the feeling right out. We couldn’t re-invent the “togetherness,” or vibe that happened in the moment. Parts of life are grand, magical, the Eifel tower, the Mount Everest. And some parts are the regular and ordinary; the inconsistencies and flaws that speak to our humanness. I love that this song speaks of the ordinary moments that have become some of the best parts of my life. It wouldn’t be amazing if they were taken out.
This song is for my two great loves, Michael and Amelie...and one other sweet one on the way.