Saturday, February 28, 2009

Expectant (McKenna's song)

Regarding the eager expectations and need for more space I alluded to in my last post -- some of you probably knew that I was referring to the fact that my wife and I were expecting. For a while now, we'd been clearing out space for the nursery, researching and buying the baby gear, going to regular doctor's appointments, and so on. Well the big day finally came last week. I'm happy to announce the birth of our daughter, McKenna.

I started writing this song fairly early on in the pregnancy. During the first trimester, we hadn't told a whole lot of people we were expecting, yet. I remember being so excited and just purely happy, but not being able to tell anyone about it. It didn't matter whether someone cut me off on the 101 or if I had a stressful day at work. There was a sense that nothing else mattered -- we were expecting, and within half a year we would be holding our own child. It was like I had a special pair of glasses on that made everything in the world seem brighter and happier. What would these glasses be called? Ironically, "sun" glasses made sense to me, as these would be glasses that would help you see more light and hues -- the good stuff -- from the sun. I liked the divergent meanings of sun glasses and normal sunglasses (which are more appropriately called sun shades, I think) and so the "sun glasses" metaphor used in this song was born.

During the pregnancy, my wife and I would regularly read about the various stages of development of our child. As the pregnancy progressed, we got an increasingly powerful sense that our child was already there with us wherever we would go. We started talking to her, started caressing her by rubbing my wife's belly, and I started singing to her. So when I wrote this song it felt natural to address the song to McKenna while she was still in the womb, to exclaim to her that she was the one that made us expectant, that she was the one that made us feel such happiness. Hence the chorus, "you make me expectant."

Still, I wanted the song to make sense for me to sing to her after she was born, as well. It occurred to me that children can make their parents expectant throughout life, not just in utero. So I created the third verse to address this -- that this state of being expectant is not limited to just nine months, but even beyond that.

As far as the style of the song goes, I've been to Hawaii a couple of times now and each time I've been struck by the joy reflected in the music. And so I wrote something that reminded me of Hawaiian music. Perhaps a future recording of this song should contain a ukulele!

I recorded this song during the last couple of weeks of the pregnancy, when we were waiting for labor to begin. After McKenna was born, I of course sang her this song while trying to calm her down during late night meltdowns. I like to think that she's starting to recognize and respond to the song... at first, I was able to relax her and put her to sleep by the end of the song. But only time will tell. I've noticed that other songs she hears could be having the same effect! As always, give the song a listen and let me know what you think. The pictures in the video were taken the day after she was born, while we were still in the hospital.