But guess what? You can't prepare for that. For what it does to you. Huge, hormonal, sleepless, weepy, and, let's face it... kinda crazy. And not in a good way, at least for me.
I still remember buying two albums that summer: Stadium Arcadium by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Plans by Deathcab for Cutie. I listened to Tell Me Baby so many times and so loudly that it was the only thing that would calm my daughter during her first, freaky weeks on earth.
Forget You Are My Sunshine, lady. Gimme Anthony Kiedis.
And then a magical thing happened.
After my daughter was born, I forgot about music.
Seriously. I listened to the radio in the car. I probably put in a CD here and there. But I didn't buy music until 2009, when my son was finally old enough to let me get more than five consecutive hours of sleep.
Until I woke back up.
I was in the car with both kids on a Sunday morning, and I heard this song.
It was unbelievable. Like nothing I've ever heard, except maybe Ravel's Bolero, but it was gritty and poetic and powerful and filled with longing and fury and things I hadn't felt in years. And I waited for the deejay to tell me who or what it was, but THEY DIDN'T, and so I was also infected with that same longing and fury. I went home and googled what little I could remember about the lyrics.
Midnight? Something about midnight? Standing near a streetlight?
I couldn't find it. I went crazy.
And then, oddly enough, Facebook crowdsourcing saved the day.
That song was Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event.
I bought that album. And then I bought Mumford and Sons. And the Civil Wars. And Iron & Wine. And The Veils.
That first Airborne Toxic Event Album? That's also when I started writing.
When I woke back up.
Last night, I saw The Airborne Toxic Event at the Buckhead Theater in Atlanta. It was everything I hoped it would be. They were more than incredible. They rocked every bone I have, and I screamed the words and thumped my feet and had little goosebump tingles just rippling all over my skin.
I saw Morphine in Athens in 1999. And then I didn't see another live show until this year. Now I'm hungry for it, for the pounding drums and the lights and the fury and the energy and the excitement and the poetry. I'm hungry to be there, live, watching people create something so powerful and moving. I have no music skills, but when I'm at a show, screaming the words to my favorite songs, it's as close as I'll ever come to being part of the magic.
And so I say to you, in the words of Paul Atreides,
THE SLEEPER HAS AWAKENED.