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July 1, 2014

The Parent’s Lament – As Time Goes By / The Marcrescue blog – life in Maine with music & an eight year old

by Marc Ratner

Greetings,

Are you a parent?

If not – let me explain a few things you probably don’t realize.

Before you have kids you might think you understand the concept and the reality.

I can only say this based on my experience…..maybe it is different for other people….

But….basically….before I had a kid….I didn’t have a clue what it was like being a parent….and I thought I did.

Even being a kid doesn’t give you perspective on being a parent.

Assuming you’re a fortunate parent and you have a good kid (/s) and life is basically good…..then you have….

….The Parent’s Lament.

Something I had no concept of.

Let’s start with – you get no sleep.

Less than you can imagine.

I remember my business partner in LA – Hugo – coming to the office looking a bit tired and he’d say….”Violet was up last night”.

She was two at the time.

What I didn’t realize.

He only mentioned it once in a while.

Basically kids are up every night.

Our son is eight.

All these years and he still wakes up at night.

Not as much as he used to – but enough to keep us from getting any sleep.

Not a week goes by when he still doesn’t wake up……because…….

……water, bathroom, nightmare, can’t sleep etc.

Even when he sleeps the night through – we’re not sure.

“Is that him? Is he awake? Did he just call us?”

“I’ll go check.”

So….no sleep for parents….ever.

I figure he’ll start sleeping through the night just about the time when we have to start worrying about where he is at night when he’s not in bed – not home yet.

Is that The Parent’s Lament?

Nah.

Losing sleep becomes no big deal pretty quickly.

You get used to it.

Of course I have an overwhelming urge to ask surgeons, airline pilots and anyone else with my life in their hands…..

“Do you have kids?”

“Is that a SpongeBob Square Pants button you have there?

If they answer in the affirmative – I know they haven’t slept and want to turn and run in the other direction.

But I know they’ve managed to deal with no sleep.

We’ll be okay.

What other problems are there?

Is this the right school?

Is this friend a bad influence?

Too much TV?

How do we get them away from video games?

Doesn’t any commercial food establishment have anything besides junkfood for kids anymore?

Ever look at a “Kid’s Menu”?

Even an elegant restaurant that serves local farm fresh organic grass fed wild caught food……has a kid’s menu that’s basically a hot dog, mac & cheese, french fries and sodas.

Arghhhhh!

(More about that in a minute).

Are any of those things The Parent’s Lament?

Nah.

They’ll survive all that.

So what’s The Parent’s Lament?

It’s simple.

Times goes by.

It kills you.

The babies are so wonderful.

Suddenly they’re in preschool.

Making friends.

You make great friends with the preschool teachers and all the sudden – it’s off to kindergarten.

Here he is waiting for the bus the first day of Kindergarten:

Letter size - first day of kindergarten

Not a moment has passed……we think…..and all the sudden it’s the last day of second grade:

Letter size - last day of 2nd grade

They have to grow up – but no one understands how hard it is on the parents…..it’s heaven and hell at the same time.

Everyday we want to freeze the moment.

Although the joy of watching them grow up & learn how to out negotiate their parents is stellar as well.

I haven’t won an argument in our household in years.

Ethan started out-smarting me at about 2 1/2….and of course I’m married…..we just celebrated out 10th anniversary…..so figure I haven’t won an argument for at least 12 or so years – except for about a year from when Ethan started talking to when he hit 2 1/2.

I don’t miss losing arguments.

I just marvel at how I’m outsmarted almost every day.

They say elephants have great memories.

They got nothin’ on kids.

They never forget anything you’ve ever said….AND….they have ears that hear as well as elephants ears are large.

Married with a kid.

I got no chance.

But I miss those days of innocence.

Eight going on sixteen – he’s already discussing his first car.

I’m scared – I’m very, very scared.

But daily life is all about the wonderful moments.

Can’t beat walking down the street after our 2nd grade graduation dinner – Ethan’s choice?

Sushi at Suzuki’s.

Sushi?

At 8 years old?

I wouldn’t even eat the fish sandwich at McDonald’s when I was 8 years old.

Another sign that times change.

Something that all those “elegant restaurants” should take note of…..kids don’t eat just hot dogs and fries anymore.

Thanks to my wife for capturing our walk after our sushi dinner in a beautiful photo:

Letter size - Graduation dinner 2014

Thankfully the photo gives me that moment in time.

My kid is growing up faster than I can imagine.

How do I entertain myself?

As I always have….with music.

Dad might work in the music business all day long.

But I’ve never lost the joy of music and love going to concerts that have nothing to do with my company.

We bought tickets to see Patty Griffin in Portland a couple weeks ago.

Then we realized it was Father’s Day?

What did we do?

Bought a third ticket for Ethan

He’s 8 years old – we end up buying him a lot of tickets.

We love to take him with us.

He just saw Patty Griffin.

Last summer he saw Paul McCartney.

He’s been to Jazzfest in New Orleans 5 times.

He’s been to the American Folk Festival in Bangor 5 times.

He saw the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary concert.

His favorite song of theirs is “I Get Around” – very appropriate – I took this shot during that song:

Letter size - Beach Boys 50th

Here’s a shot of Patty Griffin’s wonderful show…..I always love the solo songs:

Letter size - Patty Griffin Father's Day 2014

Of course he hears about music all day long in our household.

What’s happening at the moment?

Barnaby Bright have just finished the major tracking on their new album.

Don’t have anything to play from the new recordings yet – but both of these concert favorites will be on the new album:

“Just The Same” (just about my favorite “couples” love song ever) – here’s a live radio performance version:

“Sail” – here’s a live version from a concert in Portland, Oregon:

Becky and Nathan are pretty jazzed about the new album and also that their Pledge Music campaign has done so well…..still plenty of time to donate before the album release and it’s already past their goal:

Letter size - 108%

They’re not shy and not “precious” either – here’s the selfie photo they took in the car while on tour when they found out they passed their Pledge goal:

Letter size - BB  hit their goal

How can you not love people like this?

Here’s the link to their Pledge Music campaign. Remember it’s much like donating to a public radio station and the great thing is that you always get value returned. For $10 you get a digital copy of the album BEFORE release date…..(cheaper than iTunes)…..and for $25 you get the pre-release digital copy AND a signed cd sent to you when it’s released.

Such a deal.

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/barnabybright

This guy:

Letter size - Chris Ross

Chris Ross…..just started his new Pledge Music campaign.

I showed him the Barnaby Bright intro video and Chris said “I better up my game”.

He did.

Here’s his link – click on his intro video…..I guarantee you’ll be surprised and entertained.

Guaranteed!

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/chrisross

Here’s a couple tunes that’ll be on Chris’ next album:

“Easier Said Than Done”:

“Burns” (Chris seems to write about relationship troubles quite often….this song is the polar opposite of the Barnaby Bright tune “Just The Same” linked above. No matter if your relationship is workin’ or not – we’ve got you covered):

As I mentioned above – I love live music.

So how excited are we that Mishara Music just released our first live album?

Very.

Connor Garvey’s “Before The Meteors” which is a companion album to the studio recorded “Meteors And Beating Hearts”:

Letter size - Connor albums

Wanna hear something great?

Here’s “Irish Song” from the album….so much fun:

What’s better than an absolutely free song?

Not much.

Here’s the live version of “Tattered Shirt” from “Before The Meteors”- absolutely free and easy to download – no email or registration required – just click and save, enjoy and free feel to share with anyone you’d like:

http://misharamusic.com/free/tatteredshirts/

Aw shucks.

I feel like Monte Hall at the moment – (if you’re old enough to remember him that is – if you do – ask me about my Monte Hall story someday – it’s pretty weird) – so let me give away another free song.

Seems like a whole bunch of people have been getting married lately which reminded me that our trio Clarensau has a song titled “Dance With Me”.

It’s the perfect “first dance” song for a wedding – so here’s a Clarensau / Mishara Music wedding present – a free download of “Dance With Me”. Again – no email or registration required to download the song – just click and enjoy:

http://misharamusic.com/free/dancewithme/

Back to The Parent’s Lament for a moment.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives, the moment, this & that…..we truly have no perspective.

Until it comes sailing right into the harbor.

As two ships did into Camden Harbor this week.

We get all sorts – yachts, schooners, kayaks…..even a visit from a US Navy ship once a year.

But this was a first.

Replicas of two of Columbus’ ships.

Yup – THAT Columbus – the Christopher Columbus guy.

Some enterprising person had the wonderful idea to recreate the Nina and the Pinta (why not the Santa Maria? It never finished that famous first voyage).

The two ships now tour the world – stopping at harbors large and small all over the world.

A history lesson that comes to you and gives great perspective on life.

Here’s the Pinta (the black ship on the right):

Letter size - Pinta 06-30-2014

Doesn’t seem very big does it?

(This copy is actually 15 feet larger than the original).

Here’s the Nina (which was smaller than the Pinta):

Letter size - Nina 06-29-2014

Which is exact size.

Note the rowboat right next to it.

Here’s the roster of the crews that sailed on that first Columbus voyage:

Letter size - Columbus Crew

24 people sailed on the Nina – which was about the size of four or five rowboats.

I spent some quiet moments thinking about the lives those men lived.

I think I’ve got it tough?

Hah.

Geez – the water at our favorite lake beach nearby was a bit cold on the first day of summer:

Letter size - first day of summer

Yup – we’ve got it rough.

But – again perspective.

Lots of people complain that the music business isn’t what it used to be.

Can’t make as much money as we used to.

I never did it for the money.

It was always about the music.

My biggest joy for our business these days?

Getting the new monthly figures and seeing how many free songs we’ve given away on our Mishara Music Free Song Samplers on Amazon.com.

We’ve put out five and number six is coming soon.

What’s in a number:

Here’s one:

Letter size - Amazon downloads 06-30-2014

That’s how many songs we’ve given away.

Here’s a review I just read on Amazon – posted about sampler # 5 a couple days ago:

Letter size - Amazon 5 review 06-27-2014

 

I have no idea who that person is….but we’ve made their day….with music.

That makes my day.

Doesn’t get better than that.

Here’s the link for our Mishara Music Amazon Free Song Sampler # 5 that “Ozietwin” wrote the review about:

http://tinyurl.com/MisharaMusicAmazonSampler5

Letter size - Amazon Mishara Music Sampler 5

Try it.

Enjoy it.

Share it.

In the meantime…..as much as learning about the past helps teach us about ourselves and potentially about the future…..

It’s a new world out there…..the adventure may not be about sailing across an uncharted ocean…..someday hopefully it’ll be about sailing across an uncharted universe…..but in the meantime we’re just looking to the future and hoping to keep our perspective in focus a day a time:

Letter size - Ethan Mt Battie June 2014

Marc

PS Speaking of discovering new worlds. This letter started out years ago as a business letter to radio programmers. I still send it out as an email to programmers. But the perspective changed over the years. I became more interested in writing about life than business. There’s still business in the post – but it’s muted and it focuses on what I love – the music. A few years ago I decided that I’d post each letter on a wordpress blog site and let anyone, anywhere discover it and read it. Now the letters get read every day – all over the world – by people I don’t know, have never met and probably will never meet. Hopefully they’re finding some joy in the writing and especially the music – and if our free song stats tell us anything – they are.

Here’s the blog link:

http://www.marcrescue.wordpress.com

A week or so ago I checked to see where it’s been read in the past year. I don’t look very often and imagine my surprise when I saw the details.

I guess these letters could be my “Nina” – on a voyage of discovery.

Here’s the list of countries where the letters have been read in the past year:

Letter size Countries June 2014

Marc Ratner

Mishara Music

E-mail: marcrescue@gmail.com

Website: http://www.misharamusic.com

WordPress: http://www.marcrescue.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marc.ratner

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/marcrescue

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