"Your emotions start racing, and clarity is reached." That wasn't the only big change: Crow adopted Wyatt in 2007 and Levi three years after that.
The decision to take on two kids as a single mom constituted an emotional leap of faith.
"Hey, I would love to get married — I'm still old-fashioned.
But with personal challenges come epiphanies, and after battling breast cancer, Crow wanted to return to her roots (her mom and dad and two of her three siblings live three and a half hours away, in southeast Missouri).
"Something happens when you're diagnosed with a disease," she explains.
They weren't gonna wake up and find somebody sleeping in their house or feel abandoned because the relationship fell apart." In fact, she thinks her boys have learned life lessons from observing the relationship: "You can still love and respect someone, even when you're mad at them or disagree with them.
And you can celebrate the good things happening for them, even when those things are not happening for you." For now, Crow has cooled on the dating scene, though she admits, "I've been set up before.
"There's so much sex that's projected, and that's a bummer.
These singers talk about how empowering it is, but a good musician who can command the stage doesn't have to rely on sex to sell her music." Since moving to Nashville, Crow has been feeling empowered in her relationships with men, too. With her earlier relationships, there had been a pattern: "I had always gone out with guys who were highly successful, which would seem like it would put me at an equal level," says Crow, whose former boyfriends include actor Owen Wilson and musician Eric Clapton.She takes the boys with her when she's on the road (they love their commodious bus) as much as Wyatt's school schedule allows.As we talk, she's preparing for a summer tour with the group Rascal Flatts.Her clothes, too, are casual — dark jeans and a white shirt, sleeves turned up at her elbows. You could bump into her in the produce aisle — this megastar who's sold 50 million albums worldwide — and merely do a minutes-later "Hey, that woman looked kinda familiar…."Crow's younger son, Levi, 4, has been showing off for a guest, picking up his cat, Hank, and managing — barely — not to drop the wriggling animal, which is almost a third his size.He paternally sets Hank down in a cat bed, and Hank stays put! The adorable towhead exits the room, and Crow turns around and sighs.Two songs on her most recent album, which hit the airwaves last September — "Waterproof Mascara," about a single mother whose son wonders why other children have daddies, and "Stay at Home Mother," about the guilt of a hardworking mom — tap into wrenching modern-female universals and are based on Crow's experiences.