October 2013 Later Mom Profile: Eliza Moore
RELATIONSHIP STATUS: Married
RESIDENCE: Montreal, Quebec
CHILD’s NAME/AGE: Xavier 2
I am a mother, singer songwriter (although sometimes I prefer to use the term composer as it broadens the possibility field), fiddle player, yoga instructor, and overall seeker of spiritual fulfillment and joy.
This link to my recent music video release will say more than I can in words: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgTOUYyMU98
And this link will give you a quick look into the present tense: news, tour dates, photos of shows as well as various experimental filter shots of sunsets and xavier eating ice cream. facebook.com/elizamooremusic
What does your child think of your work? What led you to make your recording, and what is the message you want listeners to take away from it? I am laughing right now reading this. As of about three or four days ago, Xavier is beginning to understand the concept of “Mama’s working”. For his first two years (!) he would scream and cry whenever I would pick up my fiddle or guitar. This is actually one of the reasons I began to play the piano. He found peace when he could sit on my lap, and I would play I-V-I chords to “Wheels on the Bus” and various other favorite tunes. I have to thank him for that, as I am now writing almost all of my new songs on the piano.
When I went to VT to record the EP, Xavier was not a big fan, mainly because this was the first time I had been away from him for more than 24 hours. However, Xavier has really grown to love the songs on the record. He often asks for “Mama’s songs,” and he sings along to them now, which is really sweet. I remember one morning waking up to him singing, “You are everything to me in this world!”. This is the title track of the EP, and a song I had written to him as a lullaby when he was only one month old. You can imagine how special it was for me to hear it spontaneously coming out of his heart, back to mine, full circle.
I made this recording because I couldn’t help it. I had tried other pathways of expression: yoga and music teaching, ministry, to name a few, but my heart yearned to make music, the music that was inside me, waiting to come out. Around that time, a friend of mine, a mother of a young boy, died much too young. Her death sharpened my perspective on life, on the gifts I had been given to share on this journey of mine. Her death also brightened my sense of gratitude for all that I have, everyday with my son, my husband, my friends and my work. I often think, what would she do for just one more day?
Around that time I also had a number of dreams in which I was flying over New York City, watching myself perform with various bands and string ensembles. I was always so elated when I woke up. My intuition was talking to me, and I decided to follow through. I cannot express in words how happy I am that I followed that inner knowing.
The take away message from this EP is more or less open-up and feel the love that is all around you. May that love enable you to trust your insight, your intuition and your path of expression….
What do you see as the positives and challenges of having a child at age 35 or over? The positives are that my husband and I have had a few extra years of life experience, and hopefully have learned a bit from our 20s and early 30s. I am not sure if we are truly any wiser. There is a certain feeling of maturity that hits around 35, nothing too dramatic, but I would say I am more at ease with myself now than ever before. Even though we live in a culture that isn’t big on aging, I have to say, with every year, I enjoy life more, I appreciate it more, and I feel like I arrive a little more deeply into my skin. Those are all values and feelings I hope I can share with my son.
Has anything about being a mother surprised you? What do you most love about it? Yes. I was really worried about having a baby. I was worried I would lose myself, never sleep again, never have romantic time with my husband… all the things you hear about when you are considering having a child. What I was not prepared for was the MAGIC. The first time you see your child, those first few months of intimacy as a family, the purity of soul and heart that shines through all the crying and diapers and no sleep. I remember lying beside Xavier and crying tears of the most purest form of joy and love. In hopes of not sounding too kooky, it is a sort of rebirth for the parents as well, witnessing such a pure state of being and life, what some might call soul.
What do you most want to teach your child? What have you learned from him? Pretty simple: I want to teach him that he is loved and he is love. Xavier has taught me that an open-hearted smile is enough to light up an entire room.
What influence, if any, has your own mother or father had in your life and in your parenting? My mother and father are/were (my father died of cancer when I was 19) almost parental archetypes. My father was the town pediatrician, and my mother (without realizing it) led a sort of daily Waldorf inspired day camp for me and my friends on our farm in Vermont. From my father, I learned the importance of integrity, intuition and healing. From my mother, I learned how to sing, how to live with an open heart always and how to find peace and fulfillment by walking and playing in nature.
Where do you turn for support as a mom? How important is to connect with mom peers? Mainly I turn to my friends for support. There is nothing like the voice of another mother or father who has been through all the same sleepless nights and dirty diapers and rashes and stuffy noses and potty training. In Montreal, there is an incredibly special resource for parents. It was started quite a few years ago as a google group “play group”. Now it is rumored to have over 500 members, and at any moment if I have a question about my son’s bratty behavior or aversion to teeth brushing (!), I post the question and I usually get 10 or 20 different responses from other mothers who are going through or have just gone through the same dilemma. These sorts of groups or communities are priceless for mothers and fathers.
What words of wisdom would you most like to share with others contemplating becoming a parent, particularly if they’re 35 or older? Parenting is intense, all consuming, and there is nothing more rewarding or life affirming. One friend told me, “You will experience the highest highs and the lowest lows as a parent.” Ah, too true.
When you became a mom, did your own mother or father share any particular sentiments or advice that really resonated? My father and I had a ritual of watching the sunset side by side in silence together. One time, during the after glow, I remember him saying, “Eliza, this is the same sunset I watched with my father, and I remember my father telling me, the same thing.” My father had a deep love of his heritage and family. He instilled in me that same profound respect and appreciation for lineage and for the slower rhythms and cycles of nature.