One Working Musician/Daddy!

by Jason on May 28, 2011 · 6 comments

in Parenthood, Thoughts

Poppy Parker at 18wks, 2days. Isn't she beautiful???

That’s right…I’m going to be a daddy!

My wife and I found out recently that we’re going to have a baby girl. Poppy, as we’ve been calling her (because when we found out we were pregnant, the book said she was the size of a poppy seed), will be joining us in October. Even though this is something we’ve wanted for a long time it still came as no less of a shock. It’s funny how something can be so commonplace and so miraculous at the same time.

Needless to say, we’ve been consumed by this news ever since we found out. We’ve been choosing midwives, eying every stroller we pass, debating the pro’s and con’s of cloth diapers, trying out hundreds of names and reading every book, blog, article and website we can get our hands on. There’s so much to learn, so much to know. And at the same time, I know that no amount of preparation or book-learnin’ can get us ready for the change we are about to undergo. When Poppy arrives our lives will change forever, and there’s no telling what that change will look like until it happens to us. All I do know is that we’re ready and willing to face down this change and make the best life we can for ourselves and our daughter. We couldn’t be more excited to be parents!

It’s an exciting time. It’s also a scary time. The unknown is daunting. The good news is that, as self-employed artists, we’ve both deal with the unknown every day. We’re intimately familiar with it, in fact. We’ve grown comfortable with the fact that we don’t ever know where our next gig will come from or how much the next check will be for. We’ve put our faith in our abilities as artists and as entrepreneurs and we trust ourselves and each other. We’re confident that we can do the jobs we’ve created for ourselves, and that confidence has been crucial to our success. Being self-employed isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes guts and perseverance and stubborn determination. And we’ve reaped the benefits of all of this. Being self-employed is wonderful in so many ways – our time is our own, we live on our terms, we love what we do, and we have time to spend with each other and with our new baby.

And now, with the realization that we’ll have another human being depending on us for her very survival and development, I know that we’ll need all of these traits more than we ever have before. Because we both want to continue to make a living doing what we love. We want to do it for ourselves, of course, but we also want to do it for Poppy. We want to show her by example that if you put your heart and soul into what you love, if you trust yourself and your abilities, if you put your head down and stubbornly plow ahead, you can have the life you dream of. You can have a job that satisfies your soul, a partner who loves and supports you, and a family that does not want for anything. All of a sudden, these ideals we’ve been living by have taken on greater weight.

To be honest, I have no idea how we’re going to do it. We sometimes struggle to make ends meet for the two of us, and now there will be three. But I have faith in myself, I have faith in Darrah, and I have faith that we will make it work. Sure, one or both of us could take a day-job and make more money. But at what cost? What would that tell our daughter about chasing her dreams? All of a sudden, it’s about so much more than just living our dreams. Now we see it as a life lesson for our little girl. We want her to know, not just think, but know, that she can do whatever she wants, whatever she sets her mind to. And the best way to teach her that is to live it ourselves.

So, off we go on the biggest adventure of our lives! We know not what the future will bring. We know not what our lives will look like come November and beyond. Yet we’ll continue to move forward chasing our dreams, building the life we want for ourselves so that our little Poppy will see that it can be done. And when it’s her turn, we’ll look on proudly as she chases her dreams with faith, determination, and yes, a little of that Parker stubbornness, and know that we’ve done our job.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Twitter: Chodgesmusic
May 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

That’s awesome, man! So happy for you guys. Dad hood is the best thing on the entire planet. Congratulations!

Joe Walker
Twitter: JoeWalkerGuitar
May 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm

“no amount of preparation or book-learnin’ can get us ready”

Sounds awfully familiar for an improvising musician. You got this!

Your unknown professional future reminds me of a conversation I had with a good friend at my last show in San Diego. He asked if I’d be prepared, 5 or 10 years down the line, to hang that Les Paul on the wall because kids leave no time for anything. I laughed, but he insisted he was serious. I thought about it and said, “You know what, yes. Absolutely. Whatever it takes.” I have no intention of giving up my professional musical aspirations, but if the reality of my situation made it impossible, I wouldn’t hesitate to find another way to survive.

Don’t blink, or she’ll be off to college.

Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
May 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Thanks Chris!

And Joe, I hear ya! I didn’t mean to say that taking a day job would be wrong or out of the question. It may come to that. But Darrah and I are determined to try to live life on our own terms for as long as we can. It’ll be a good test of every ounce of my One Working Musician philosophies!

Dan DiPiero May 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm


Kristin Pavon June 1, 2011 at 10:10 am

Congrats to you and your wife on execting a baby girl! My husband Mike and I are expecting a baby girl in September as well, just about 1 year, 1 month after our wedding date! Thanks again for being such a memorable part of our wedding in Seattle last August! – Kristin (Duvall) Pavon 🙂

Jeff Shattuck June 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Congratulations. My wife and I just had twins about six months ago and, yes, kids change everything. Unlike you, I don’t have the confidence (or talent, quite honestly) to chase my musical dreams and will be looking or a full-time job soon. Sadly, because of my brain injury, I also need full time work in order to get healthcare. Sigh…

Just for fun, here’s a song I wrote for my little girls. I’m sure you will do the same!

Congratulations again. Very happy for you and from everything I’ve read and learned you are going to be a great parent.

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