Let's Rock

Part I (of a two-part series)

It’s a long, slow drive up through West Hollywood. The streets are old and heavily traversed. Little H and I are on our way to a recording studio, where we’ll spend our Friday afternoon helping with a music video for a song about breast cancer.  

We’re background for the video; unimportant extras really, but we’re real life and we’re here to be a part of it. Or rather, we’re almost there.

Parking is a quest of time and patience all on its own. I eventually shed my car in a semi-legal space a long 4 blocks from the covert brick building with the address I was given. I’m sweating by the time we’re buzzed into the small, gated, parking area outside the studio. On this unusually hot October day, I keep imagining whipping off the black, rayon scarf I carefully wrapped around my bald head this morning. What tiny breeze there is would then be free to blow across my bare scalp, cooling the sweat, cooling across my face, so comfortable… Okay, snap out of it. We made it; we’re here. If my kid can keep his clothes on in this heat, I can keep my headscarf on.
I give Little H a juice pouch and find the shadiest spot that I can to stand my shiny black head in.

There are ladies everywhere, some that I’ve met at prior events, a few that I’m introducing myself to. Some, I notice proudly, are here because I invited them. Their familiar smiles are welcoming and kind. I’m starting to get used to spending time around my diverse new group of survivor friends - my ladies, as I’ve taken to calling them. They’re all older by a least a decade or two, but we share a strong commonality and I enjoy their company.
I’m discovering this to be one of the ways I cope: latch on to positive, take part, carry on. I’ve been embracing anything good that surfaces in this storm, including showing up at fundraisers and shoots, retreats and seminars, and letting new and diverse friends brighten my days.      

Most of my ladies have met Little H by now. I bring him along to events on occasion – generally because I like to spend time with him when I’m well enough to do so, and occasionally because I don’t have a choice. (I’m apparently an aberration in West Los Angeles as a mother without a nanny in my employ.)
Today, Little H is in luck; a couple of other moms have brought their middle school aged children and they’re showing mild interest in his inclusion. They eat tortilla chips and drink juice together before scattering among the small crowd outside the studio.

The band comes out to meet us, a bunch of young, Australian rockers. The drummer’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and they wrote a special song for her, which they’ve been performing to raise awareness and funds for the cause. We shake hands and make small-talk. I wonder if this song will help them make it big. I wonder how much it will contribute to breast cancer research.
Little H brings me another juice pouch from the picnic table of snacks laid out for us. I’m too hot and too distracted to dissuade him, so I open it lazily between handshakes and photographs. We’re about to head into the studio. 

Inside, it’s a loud and private concert for the 20 or so of us ladies gathered around. The next couple of hours are basically a succession of the band playing while we smile and tap our feet, clap our hands and cheer from the periphery.

The music rocks. The cameras are big. Someone has given Little H another juice pouch.     

Little H (in his breast cancer head scarf) rocking with the band

He and I in the audience

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