Seventeen years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Paul McCartney and Wings in concert. The head to toe goose bumps I felt while hearing my favorite Beatle made me feel like my life was, well… “complete”. I could surely die a happy woman! The concert was by far, the best one I had ever, ever been to. The best, that is, until last night. Last night, I saw Sir Paul perform live again, but this time, my husband and my son were with me. I got “completed” even better than the first time.
It’s really pretty simple. My (nearly) 14 year old son chose, without reservation, to let his parents be a part of his very first concert experience. Sure, it helped that he liked the music we played at home and the fact that we splurged on his expensive ticket, but he could have simply turned us down in favor of a first concert experience with his cohorts… the way most teenagers do it today! He chose us and we were touched that we could share this “milestone” with him.
So I’d like to ask, “What milestones would you like to share with your children”? “What can you begin to do today to actually pursue this goal?” And while I’m asking questions….
Do you remember your first concert? Would you have shared the experience with your parents? Would you like to share this type of experience with your kids? Why, or why not?
Our experience included being shoulder to shoulder with forty thousand people and getting completely soaked after a heavy 10 minute downpour. We rocked as a family to “Let it Be”, and sang and screamed for two and a half hours until we lost our voices. There was even time for a little “parenting” when we had to explain to our son that the “funny smell” he had never smelled before was pot! Yes, we had a quick discussion on why it is best to “Just Say No” to drugs! Overall the crowd was tame, but we got to point out how silly drunks looked when they couldn’t walk straight, or just fell down. Our son probably could have made all these assessments on his own, but we were glad to have been there as guides. We were also glad we asked him about going to the concert in the first place. If we hadn’t taken this step and “tried”, we would have never experienced this particular bond in the way that we did.
Of course, we are always parents first and I’m not suggesting we seek back to back opportunities to be our kid’s best friend but I encourage all parents to try to open windows of opportunity to experience friendship with their kids. Even if you think they’ll turn you down, what’s the harm in trying? If it works, they might just think you’re “cool” and even find you “approachable” to solicit your “parental wisdom”.
In the end, we were just so grateful to have shared a wonderful evening with our young teenager who is rapidly showing us what a great young man he is turning in to and how he values his parents despite our being “parents”. We had a great friendship between us last night. Laughter, love, learning, cuddling to stay warm and dry from the rain, and great music made us a very happy family enjoying a very magical night.
Of course tomorrow is another day. There will likely be scolding about an unmade bed and piles of clothes on the floor. There might be greater issues that define our roles as defiant teenager and “mean” parent, but for now I must simply just say “thanks” not just to Sir Paul, but to my son, who made the night rock in more ways than one! Thanks son.