Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Natalie MacMaster Super Mom!

Time for a mommy daughter date night! Well date afternoon to be exact. Olivia started taking violin lessons just after Christmas. We absolutely love her teacher. The first week we moved to Swift Current we joined Musical Steps with Celia Hammerton. I remember putting Olivia's fuzzy bunny sweater on and pushing her and her one week old brother Kelsey (that's right one week old) in a twin stroller up the hill from our house to Fairview Rink for a parent and child music class. By the time I had walked five blocks straight uphill I thought I might pass out but after the class was over I was glad I had made the effort! I knew right then that when Olivia was sitting on Celia's knee and singing and clapping that what ever instrument she was teaching that is what Olivia would take. We are so fortunate that Celia is the music teacher in Olivia's school so she gets her in class and choir and their choir will be performing at Telemiracle this year!

When I read that Natalie MacMaster was doing a concert in Swift Current I thought what an awesome opportunity to expose her to live music and inspire her to see what the best fiddle player in Canada sounds like. Olivia was very excited to be going to a concert just her and I! I called home to make sure she was getting ready after school as the concert started at 5. I was picking up the other kids from the sitter, running around with last minute work stuff, picking up flowers for Olivia and Natalie and I phoned to ask Olivia to change into something nice for the show, brush her hair and teeth. When I got home the teenage babysitter was playing video games in his cave and the kids had dropped backpacks and full winter gear at the backdoor, smeared peanut butter and jelly from one end of the counter to the other and there was Olivia in her school clothes watching T.V. She had managed to put a braid in her hair. So rush, rush, rush find a wrinkled shirt quickly iron (the first time I have ironed in 10 years), change Olivia's clothes and run out the door. No time to phone Pat and confirm if I have to pick up Levi from hockey. Kiss, Kiss, love you, bye, be good, stop playing video games, watch your sister, I mean it watch her, get off the video game! K Bye we are leaving!

Once we arrived at the Sky Center I put it all behind me the Bronco Game Pat and the boys were headed to , the dirty dishes, the volleyball I had to get to after the show, the two dozen cookies Olivia informed me I had to bake for tomorrow morning to raise money for Telemiracle and just sat with my beautiful little girl and enjoyed AMAZING music.

Olivia in her seat with her CD! Notice the braid.

The Sky Center. It is beautiful. I dragged my camera bag in and then realized that the tickets said no cameras and I am not a rebel so I just grabbed a quick shot at intermission.

I want to share with you the many things that I was amazed by. First I am always in awe of musicians! I will admit I have very little musical talent much to my organ teacher of four years great dismay. For that reason, I have so much respect for the talent of artists like Natalie MacMaster and her husband who played with her, Donnell Leahy, they fiddled and played and entire percussion section with just their feet and danced. It was incredible. I know Olivia loved every minute of the show and I think it will help her in her dance and music lessons. During the show she commented, "This is just like T.V. only better" , "I knew those two were married!", "She looks like she has ants in her pants" and " It looks like their arms are going to fall off!'' She smiled through the entire concert and at the end she snuck down to the stage and gave Natalie a rose before they left the stage.

I have to say that the thing I was most impressed with was Natalie herself. In the program I read that Natalie was born 12 days after me, she is a mom of three beautiful kids and the youngest is just about to turn one and here she was not only performing but looking incredible ( No maternity leave for moms who run their own business and who have agents that book them two years in advance). I guess I can quit going to the gym and take up fiddling and dancing because she is in wonderful shape (who am I kidding I don't go to the gym). A few minutes into the show I saw the door to the green room open and the silhouette of a young lady and three small children emerge and they made their way to the front row. I whispered to Olivia, " I bet those are her kids!" Moments later Natalie's eyes glanced downward to the front row and you could just see the moment she spotted them in the crowd. She didn't miss a beat but she beamed on stage and from one mom to another you could see how much she loved those three kids. Working moms are pretty awesome people but not everyone can bring your kids to work with you. That takes a special kind of family to take three kids aged 4, 2 and 11 months on a tour across Canada in a bus! This month I had to drive my kids to school for three days when the buses didn't run and I nearly lost my mind in two short blocks never mind diapers, cheerios, nap times, teething, lost soothers, peek a boo, and coloring books on a bus across Canada!

So not only does she look amazing (she also has anti-gravity hair!), she did two shows today with her kids along, she ran back to the hotel between show, tucked her babies in for the night and then returned for the second show completely unfazed, she also tours and works with her husband and at least one of her in laws. I ask you ladies truthfully could you imagine yourself in a tour bus across the country with your kids, husband and in laws? I think that right there has the makings of a reality T.V. show. During the concert she also played the piano, danced, and was completely charming and funny. She talked about how she and her husband had met on a blind date. In some ways her life story is like mine, our birthdays are only 12 days apart, both of our husbands phoned us up and asked us out on dates without ever meeting us, she went to teacher's collage, we are both baby machines. The fact that I have no musical talent and if I danced like she did while I was still breastfeeding a baby (that's just pure speculation there) I think I may have dislocated a mammary gland but other than that we are practically twins. But from one mom to another I just want to give a big hats off to a very talented lady who puts her family first, who shares her amazing gift, who adores her husband, who loves her province and is proud of her heritage. I thank her for being an inspiration to me that you can work and dream and raise a family with a sense of humor and because she brought her family 4,500 km from Cape Breton NS to Swift Current Sk I was able to share two special hours with my beautiful daughter Olivia!

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