I went to see the Indigo Girls a week ago, on my first evening out since the girls came home. The whole thing particularly delighted me because my first arena-rock concert, in 1997, was Lilith Fair – Jewel, Indigo Girls and Sarah McLachlan at the Marcus Amphitheatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Almost exactly twenty years later, I went to see the Indigo Girls again. The experience sparked a major 90s lady music kick: I have been listening to Lisa Loeb, Four Non Blondes, and a whole bunch of other gems in the week since (sidenote: I am shocked/appalled at how many lyrics I remember. When I told my husband, he said ‘have you met you? of course you remember that shit’).

There is one thing that has made the Nostalgia Tour 100% better: my daughters seem to love it. They burbled their way through Donna Lewis’ ‘I Love You Always Forever’ (not a good song, by the way, but very good for singing to babies). We did three rousing rounds of Dixie Chicks’ ‘Wide Open Spaces,’ which will give any parent of daughters some Feels. I sat on the floor in front of their bouncy seats and sag the chorus with gusto. And also with jazz hands.

But the song that sealed the deal for me was ‘Wonder,’ by Natalie Merchant. The song was released in 1995, when I was 12 years old, on Tigerlily – one of the first CDs I owned (I didn’t remember that until I looked at the Wikipedia page, and the green and orange CD case brought it back to me immediately).

I’ve had a lot of anxiety about my daughters’ development, because preemies are at an elevated risk for behavioral and developmental disorders (the most likely are autism spectrum disorder and ADHD). Now, with the girls having hit all their milestones at nearly-four-months adjusted, I have relaxed substantially. But (as with any baby), there are no guarantees, and we will know when we know. To say that I have relaxed is more a comment on how tightly wound I was in their early days than how easy-breezy I am now. No one wants their kids to face a struggle.

And so in my heightened emotional state, Natalie Merchant gave me enormous comfort. The lyric ‘know this child will be gifted/with love, with patience and with faith,’ sung to a smiling Daphne on a Saturday morning as we danced around the kitchen, was more reassuring to me than any blog post or statistic I’ve read yet. She’s doing great, you guys. She rolled over today. And love, patience and faith – well, we aren’t the most patient household, but we have love and faith down. It feels like its going to be ok.

 

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