We value concert-going in our family next to cleanliness. Or something like that. We love concerts. Since our girl has turned the corner and can stay up past her usual 8:00 PM bedtime, we have started taking her to more. We started with T. Swift last year, and this year her big birthday present was a ticket to see our favorite pop icon, Meghan Trainor. And so it came to be that I took my 8 year old to a pop concert, and you guys, all of a sudden I am old. I’m a full-on mom. There’s no pretending I’m just an attendee. I am an attendee attending as a mom of a child who is a fan. It was a hard pill to swallow. And here, for your reading pleasure, is the inner monologue of a mom at a pop concert.
At home, pre-show: Ok. my kid is dressed. Now what in the h#!? do I wear to a pop concert? Everything I have is so… mom-ish. Ugh. I’m old. And boring. Whatever. I’ll wear some lipstick or a chunky necklace or something. * Puts back on what I had on all day and took off to try on 17 other outfits. Walks out of closet without looking at myself again. *
Trying to park downtown… trying not to swear. Finally suck it up and pay $25 for parking because who has this kind of time. Find a place to eat, quickly, stress about being late and missing something. I need an adult. Oh wait, that’s me. Walk over to concert venue and find our seats. Hope that 6 months ago when I bought the tickets I had the foresight to get good seats. Debate buying daughter a t-shirt… decide we only live once, why not. Rethink this when I see that ONE YOUTH T-SHIRT IS $35??! Take a deep breath. Buy the shirt. Question this choice for the next 45 minutes.
We find our seats. Some random opener is playing. Nice crop top. What are you, 20? If that? I hope E doesn’t think that crop tops are anywhere in her future because, no.
I have never even heard of this girl. E knows this song? How does she know this song? Well, that’s nice. I guess I should listen to the radio more often.
Ugh, E is already yawning. How are we going to make it to the end?? Our car is too far for me to carry her. Ok, relax, it’ll be fine. The main event will wake us back up. I hope.
I should have had a cocktail when I had the chance.
Wait for 36 hours, in kid-time (i.e. time which is lengthened by a kid is asking you “is it time yet” over and over) for the main event. Try to pass the time by talking about the songs we can’t wait to hear and looking at everyone’s outfits. E doesn’t get why people wear shirts that show their bellies, nice. Post heavily-filtered, cleverly captioned Instagram pic of us before the show. Will time to go faster. Finally, the lights dim.
Immediately, I am having the best time. I do not hate pop music and this show does not disappoint! E is dancing in the aisles where she has an unencumbered view, along with 400 other children age 7-14. I am dancing at my seat because who can help it?!
Suddenly I realize: Oh my gosh. I’m a mom. I’m dancing like my MOM! Snapping, step-touch-together with my feet – oh no. Ohhh no. I wonder if E is embarrassed. Oh, she’s completely oblivious to me. This song is just so good! It won’t be long until I’ll have to buy her separate seats with her friends, then I definitely won’t be allowed to dance. * Am sad for a moment about my little girl growing up. Switch to daydreams about embarrassing my future teenager. *
Oops, there was a swear word. This concert wasn’t an inappropriate choice, right? * Looks around in a panic. * She’s not the youngest kid here, ok, that’s good. Is this song about sex? Yep. I hope she doesn’t realize this song is about sex. Ugh, I’m not ready to explain that tonight. Oh good, she has no idea what the words to this song are. Bullet dodged.
Maybe I can just dance a little more. That mom’s dancing, too. I swear like 5 minutes ago I was a young concert goer myself – not a mom chaperoning a concert goer. When did this happen? Oh well, it’s fine. But when did I start snapping so much when I dance?
Feeling self-conscious, I start to feel self-conscious about my self-consciousness. I have to set a good example as a strong, un-self-conscious woman for my daughter. I can’t be worrying about how I look when I dance! She needs to see it’s ok to have fun and not worry about what other people are thinking. But seriously, WHY can’t I stop snapping?!
The kid in front of me is non-stop chat-snapping, or whatever it’s called. When did all these 12 and unders get cell phones? They’re not even watching the show! Shakes my proverbial fist at technology, the state of today’s youth. * Stops in my tracks. * Oh great, I’m fully ancient now, cursing technologies and social medias I don’t understand. No denying it now. * Sighs, considers downloading Snapchat. *
A song comes on and E sings these lyrics to me: “You might have a mom, she might be the bomb, but ain’t nobody got a mom like mine!” Oh great, I’m crying. I’m always crying. But I’m so lucky to have a daughter who thinks I’m great – * swallows a sob * – oh whatever, I am who I am, plus hormones, and all that. * Openly cries. *
Crap, another swear word. Am I corrupting my child? It’s bad enough I’m teaching her to be embarrassed about her dance moves. I can’t worry about this now. I’ll do damage control later.
9:00 PM: Oh man, I’m getting sleepy. I hope this wraps up pretty soon.
10:00 PM: I’m going to be ruined tomorrow. E is already dozing, but refuses to leave until she hears her favorite song. * Starts taking video of the poor kid practically sleep-dancing. Starts to get weepy again because she’s so cute. *
Ok, finally, the encore. * Starts packing up while E goes nuts to her favorite song – breaks to take more videos. * Now, time to run out of here and beat the crowds! Which way do we get back to the car? I don’t love walking along downtown at night. Why did I choose these shoes?
Drive home, back out to the ‘burbs, daughter snoozing on impact in the back seat. Listen to all my favorites from the concert and dance openly in the safety of my car with no observers. Plus, it’s easy to stop the snapping with my hands on the wheel. Get home, carry daughter upstairs, swear it is the last time I’ll do that, knowing it won’t be. Tuck daughter in, fully clothed, because that’s a battle I’m not fighting tonight. Kiss sleeping husband and collapse into bed, forget all the fretting and look forward to waking up tomorrow to reminisce on a super fun night with my girl. * Has emotions about this, too. *