E/E

You should embrace it! An Interview with our Child Tender Jiha

Jiha and I got down over some crappy hotel breakfast in our room in Baltimore with Sheryl Crow playing a new tune on Colbert in the background. Miss Crow had the whole hotel room singing, “Give it to me!” But nobody had ever heard the song before. We continued our interview on the windy freeway on the way to one of the Baltimore airports, where Jiha was to make her return home after a little less than a week on the road with our band watching our two-year-old son, Lio.

This isn’t the first time you’ve been out on the road with us. What made you want to come back for another leg of tour?

For one, I adore Lio. It was really nice experience last time, going up to New York with you guys. Traveling together last time gave us a closer connection. I was able to learn a lot more about you both through that trip, as well as get closer to Lio. So why wouldn’t I want to? You guys are awesome!

Do you have other little ones in your life that you get to care for or see frequently?

I have a niece and nephew that I don’t get to see too frequently. They live in Toronto. I got to see them last month. We get to see each other about once or twice a year, but we Skype pretty often, about every couple of weeks. I’m definitely really close to them. I’ve always really loved kids. And Lio is just so easy to love, you know?

Can you recount this trip for us? This portion of the journey?

For me, because I’m so comfortable with you guys and have known you guys for some time now, it feels as though I’m a part of the family. Spending time with Lio isn’t anything our of the ordinary for me, so I don’t feel like I have to put any extra effort into it, it just comes naturally. I think a lot of that has to do with Lio’s personality, too. He’s such a laid back, relaxed kid. I think because he’s around a lot of people, and traveling a lot, he’s comfortable in a lot of different situations, so it makes it pretty easy to take care of him. I didn’t feel like a nanny tagging along as much as I felt like a close friend who cares a lot of Lio and loves you guys. So it’s been awesome. It feels like time has flown by. It feels like it was short, but really sweet, for sure. And I would totally do it again any time!

What’s your favorite place that we went to on this leg?

I liked a little bit of everywhere we went. I thought Charlottesville was super quaint and definitely has a lot of history, and it was nice to kind of get a feel for that. We spent a bit more time in Richmond, and that was really nice – just getting to be outside, and checking out the river, and meeting really nice people – complete strangers who opened their homes to us. You don’t see that very often. Most people are skeptical about letting people in to their homes. It goes to show that there are super nice people that are willing to open their homes up and be hospitable. Having the morning in Baltimore to get a feel for the city and to explore was really nice. People always give easterners a bad wrap, but everyone I’ve encountered was definitely super nice. So that was kind of a change in perspective. It goes to show you can’t generalize people just because they’re from a certain area.

Your responsibility is pretty much watching Lio while we’re playing, either at the venue or at a hotel or at somebody’s house. Do you have a favorite Lio moment from the trip?

Seeing how he instantly connected with Mona (a 9-year-old Basset hound who lived in Richmond) was so sweet. Their bond was super sweet. Getting to experience that was so wonderful. They were so great together. And when I was making Lio mac and cheese, and he was so excited to eat his mac and cheese – that was great. Being around Lio in general, I always have a great time because he’s such a good kid. For the most part, being able to chill out with the band, and the sweet little moments I had with Lio, are the small things that made the trip what it was. Seeing how much Lio has changed since the last time I went on the road with you guys, and how observant he is, and how much he has grown – spending this time with him has been precious.

We’ll be touring a lot in the next year. Do you have any advice for caregivers that come along with us?

For anybody who decides to come along and take care of Lio in the future, you want to come with a completely open mind, and have a go with the flow attitude, and just embrace everything. When you’re in this situation, you never know what the day is going to bring. Sometimes shows get canceled, or you need to find a last minute place to stay. Its important to have that open-mind kind of outlook because you’re with a lot of people, and there are a ton of things going on. Sometimes it’s chaotic. You should embrace it!

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