Hello there! So, I’ve been kind of a slacker blogger lately. But this is, in fact, a good sign: It means nobody else in my family has been diagnosed with cancer! Nothing is driving me to the brink of insanity! Nobody is in the hospital! I’m just busy.
But today, I have a couple of most excellent things to report:
First and foremost among them: my dad is doing well. We were up in Maine with my family for Thanksgiving, and he was up and about, in good spirits, and not in any severe pain — completely different from how ill he was right when he was diagnosed.
He took the lead in indoor blanket and card table fort-building for the kids, philosophical discussion for the grown-ups, and karaoke after Thanksgiving dinner for all of us. (Classic country hits and 80s pop dominated, and I did what I think was a very respectable rendition of the Carpenters’ “Close to you.”)
And all of this was possible because the chemo my dad is getting is working. It’s kicking cancer cell ass. Whether it will continue to work long term remains to be seen. Mantle Cell lymphoma is a doozy. But for now, he’s feeling good, and is content and comfortable. We’ll take it.
Also in the good news department — make that unbelievably great news — Alastair’s latest album was nominated for a GRAMMY (that’s supposed to be all caps, but I’d probably cap it for “holy crap” emphasis even if that weren’t the case).
We knew that it had a decent shot. There’s been a lot of buzz around this album in the kids’ music world, with some heavyweight kids’ music types (yes, there is such a thing) giving it attention. Still, a GRAMMY?! (That time, imagine double caps, for emphasis.)
We spent Friday evening, when we knew it would be announced, trying to act like we weren’t waiting until 11:00 when the complete list of nominations was going to be posted on the website. We watched a movie, then some Daily Show on DVR. We twiddled our thumbs and ate frozen mango chunks (a recent discovery in our household. So good!)
Then, at 11:01 sharp, just as we were about to casually go online, a friend who’d beaten us to it texted with the good news.
To win or get nominated for a GRAMMY (oh for God’s sake. I’m just going to use lower case from now on) in the children’s category an album actually has to be musically great (not just popular – hence the fact that the Fresh Beat Band has never won one). It can’t just win because it’s for a great cause. So it’s a wonderful honor that the Grammy voters and powers that be think Singing Our Way Through is the former.
But it’s extra awesome because the attention the album will get as a result means more people will buy it, which means we can get it out (for free) to more families facing childhood cancer — which is why it was created in the first place.
Pretty amazing that what began as Alastair and Clio making up songs about monkeys in her hospital room to lift their spirits has become…THIS! (caps intentional.)
On a much more trivial note: It has always been a bucket list dream of mine to attend a major, celebrity-filled awards show. It was one I always put in the “will probably never happen” column, along with owning a pied-à-terre in Manhattan, another one in Paris, and a villa in Tuscany.
But come January 26, to my amazement, Alastair and I will be walking the red carpet (for reals!) in LA while dressed to the nines. The award for children’s music is part of the earlier ceremony, with all the other not-cool-enough-for-television awards. So we probably won’t get to go to the big fancy shmancy show with the likes of Taylor Swift and Jay-Z and Katy Perry. But no matter; I still get to buy a fabulous dress. Maybe we’ll even get a schwag bag!
So. In honor of the album’s nomination, and the holidays, and schwag bags, I’m feeling like giving away some copies of Double Time. Which, I’ve been told, makes a great gift — for expectant parents, for current parents, for parents expecting currants, for people who have struggled with depression, and for people who just like to read memoirs.
To enter, just leave a comment below. I’ll randomly choose two winners next Sunday, the 15th, and announce them here and on my Facebook page. In the comment form where it asks for an email address, be sure to enter your actual email so I can contact you if you win!
By the way: Special thanks to all of you who donated to / have bought copies of Singing Our Way Through. And for everyone: If you’d like to buy a copy, or if you’re a patient family and would like a free copy, click here.