Dear Colin and the rest of The Decemberists:
I don't know if you guys have any kids - which, along with the fact that I had to actually look up the spelling of your name, is pretty funny. When I was younger I could tell you anything about anyone in any of the bands that I loved, from New Kids on the Block to Marilyn Manson to Bob Dylan to Tori Amos. I'm not sure when I stopped obsessing so completely about the people in the bands as much as the music, but I don't feel the loss that much. Except in cases like this, when I want to earnestly thank you.
You see, what I started to say is that I have a baby, six months old. If you have kids, you know that there are times that no matter what you do, you can't figure out what is going to make it better for your crying baby. You've changed her diaper, you're trying to feed her, you're snuggling her and singing, and she's still inconsolable. You know she's hungry, but she's too upset to eat. And after hours of this, you feel like crying yourself, because you just can't make it better and that's heartbreaking.
This will happen more than once.
Eventually, something will make it stop. She falls asleep, or she decides to take the bottle. Sometimes something triggers it - you make a particular face that causes her to smile, and come out of her black mood. You make just the right "shush" sound that lulls her to sleep. Or you turn on the iPod and put it on your favorite Decemberists playlist because mommy needs some comfort, too. And then the baby goes quiet and smiles, drinks her bottle, and goes to sleep.
Twice in her young life, Charlotte has been consoled by your voice, Colin Meloy, when nothing else worked. And for that, and the sleep that came after, I thank you.
Jenn & Charlotte
(cross-posted to LJ, too)