Being a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has ALWAYS been a dream of mine (well, at least since I can remember). When a person joins the choir they are set apart as a Musical Missionary. The biggest missionary opportunities is going on tour. I feel the choir is taken advantage of in Utah. I think people take for granted they can go see them perform any time (free of charge). I've only had a TASTE of going on tour (I went to Phoenix for a long weekend trip last February). The US Airways arena was PACKED and the energy in the room was electric. It was so amazing. People had to pay a pretty penny for their tickets (because moving the choir is not cheap). Don't get me wrong. The crowds are in Utah are always wonderfully receptive as well. Phoenix was just another level. I've been excited to tour with the choir again ever since. The members of the choir don't need to pay anything. Travel expenses are taken care of.
The choir tours every two years in the summer. It's usually for just over a week. It's such an amazing opportunity and the pinnacle of being a member of the choir. I missed the opportunity of going on tour in 2011 because I was too new. It was sad to have to sit out. I heard amazing stories. One of the bus drivers even got baptized. I wished I'd been there. It's also a great opportunity to get to know fellow choir members well.
When the Summer 2013 tour was announced I was so excited. I signed up for it, back in September I think, knowing I would have 9 month old babies at home. While I realized it would be hard on me to leave them and hard on my babies to be left I looked forward to being able to be a real "musical missionary".
The more I've thought about the tour the more I've stressed about it. How will it work? Who will watch the girls? What will they be doing when I'm gone? What will I miss? Will they be okay without me? Will they realize I'm gone and be inconsolable? Who could I burden with TWO babies? etc. As time went on my stress increased. For DAYS I prayed about what I should do but I didn't feel any answer. I now feel my stress was the answer.
This morning I decided I was fooling myself to think I could pull it off. My babies need me. The choir doesn't need me to go on tour. They have hundreds of others who can step away from their lives for 9 days. I haven't been away from them one night. How would I manage being away from them for 8? Looking back now I feel so selfish for having even considered it. While I'm really sad I'm sitting this tour out I know I'm making the right decision. Parenthood is all about sacrifice. There will be more tours in the future. Who knows if I'll be pregnant during the next tour but there will be more after that. (I can be in the choir for 20 years.) Someday it will be right for me to go. In the meantime I get to spend every day with my beautiful, sweet, happy babies. Who could ask for more than that?
To get an idea of a choir tour take a look here. TELL me you wouldn't want to be a part of that!