When you’re a parent, opportunities to get away by yourself don’t present themselves often. Nor do we necessarily want every weekend without our children and spouse. Mostly, we thrive on being together as a family and experiencing old and new adventures through our collective perspectives.
But, shifting perspective is important. When we walk through a weekend without our immediate band of wagoneers beside us we sense surroundings differently. It’s an experience that can lend itself to refreshing our minds and emotions by providing insight obtained from an unfamiliar deviation in family dynamics.
[sws_pullquote_left] I was alone, with thousands, I was understanding, without speaking the language, and, even though I was by myself, I thought of how Robin, Hazel, and Amelia, would interpret the audio/visual bomb that I was experiencing. [/sws_pullquote_left]
That being said, when I read that a band my brother and I love, Sigur Rós, was coming to Denver, where he lives, and Amelia and Hazel’s Aama and Bapaa (Grandma and Grandpa) were coming to town the same weekend, we hatched the plan for me to visit family out west, while the girls and Robin would spend time with their Grandparents. A chance for us to bond with family in a way we hadn’t.
With a jumping rock for a heart I boarded the plane and headed west, well, after going east and sitting through a two hour delay that followed a two hour layover. I was alone, right? I shouldn’t be phased, all I had to do was people watch and make sure I didn’t leave my bags in the company of strangers. With or without kids, I was still antsy and impatient while the delay continued to climb at 15 minute intervals.
Fortunately, that was the only situation where I felt like the “traveling Dad” me. Once I landed, my time was spent climbing mountains, sharing meals, shopping, and enjoying the company of my family. Conversations, which are often the subject of interruptions or brain-fuzz brought on by our attention being pushed and pulled 13 hours a day, were filled with complete sentences and thoughts.
The trip hit its apex, culminating all factors of my travel in one ball of awesomeness, when my brother and I went to see our favorite Icelandic band – ’cause there are so many other Icelandic bands that we adore – Sigur Rós. Listening to the orchestral movements that dance behind and through vocals that pierce purity, all in a language I don’t understand, brought everything together. I was alone, with thousands, I was understanding, without speaking the language, and, even though I was by myself, I thought of how Robin, Hazel, and Amelia, would interpret the audio/visual bomb that I was experiencing.
I was also bought closer to my brother as we spoke through the unknown senses that music taps into, specifically the beautiful sounds of this particular band.
Can’t get away physically? Put your headphones on and tap into the places that Sigur Rós may take you to, there is something in their songs that helps shift the world in such a way that being completely alone isn’t the point, but having time to remember the beauty in it is.
Andrew Meyer is a Special Education teacher from Madison, Wisconsin, whose wife’s job relocation changed their family roles and physical location. He's now a stay-at-home dad in Madison, Alabama, to two awesomely creative, sometimes challenging, and mostly sweet five and two-year-old girls who fill his days, nights, and in-between spaces. When with or without them, he writes, works-out, wonders, wishes he wouldn’t worry, wrestles with his wife’s commitment to her job, and listens to music. You can also find him at www.papasense.wordpress.com, on Twitter @papasense, and Facebook.