I was just reading a blog and was reminded not of my first concert because I have already written about that but of my own kids’ first concerts because she, Holley, mentioned Gwen Stefani and No Doubt.
As a mom, I was determined not to be as strict with my kids as my parents were with me. They always assumed we would be up to no good as soon as we were out of their sight. They never gave us the benefit of the doubt, even though we had not shown that we deserved the lack of trust. I was not going to be like that. I was going to trust my kids until they proved not to be trustworthy. And of course, that did happen, but those are other posts which will probably not ever be written because they’ve earned back the trust so why go back to the time when it was broken?
Number One child, Tony, went to his first concert for his 14th birthday (I am pretty sure it was 14). He had wanted to see a group called Silver Chair. I checked with the parents of two of his friends to see if they would let their boys go but we were going to keep the destination secret from all the boys. I bought the tickets, along with an extra one for me, for Tony’s birthday. When the day approached, my ex-husband was not able to have the girls over so I couldn’t go with the boys to the concert. I ended up calling an old friend from college who was single and had offered to help out with the kids. So Mario took the boys to Silver Chair. I instructed him that he was not to let the boys out of his sight because their parents were counting on me to have provided a responsible adult. He promised and I assumed he had followed my instructions. The boys had a blast and then came home to our house for a sleep over. It was fun to hear all about the concert from them. It had been the first concert for all three of them. They were the talk of their classmates for weeks! (It was not until about ten years later that Tony told me that as soon as they got into the concert venue, Mario told them to have a good time and he would be sitting in the back of the auditorium!)
Then Tina came next. I got to take her to her first concert at an outdoor theater. She wanted to see Boy II Men so the two of went. It was a good concert. I knew all the music because she played it at home all the time. I think she was around 13 for her first concert. It was interesting to see the mostly pre-teen girls, all with their moms! It wasn’t a bad concert. I actually enjoyed it but what I enjoyed more was watching Tina enjoy it! And it was outdoors so there wasn’t that sweaty, right next to someone feeling.
Then Susie. She was pretty young. She was about 10 and wanted desperately to go see Gwen Stefani. It was the tour for the album with Gwen in a wedding dress on the cover. I wasn’t sure. But Tina wanted to go. So did Tony. So, because Tony was almost 18 and was driving, and very responsible, I let her go. She had me take her to the Goodwill a week or so before the show and she found what was probably a first communion dress that fit her. It made her look like a bride and it was cheap so I let her get it. The night of the concert she dressed up like Gwen Stefani and fixed her hair and makeup (she didn’t normally wear makeup at that age but it was a costume). Off they went. All went well and they appeared home on time. Excited. Exhausted. Satisfied. Then the next day Tina told me how she had lost Susie at the concert. Susie is tiny. At 10 she was very tiny. Somehow she got lost in the Mosh Pit! So as soon as Tina realized she wasn’t next to her, she started pushing people and yelling out that her little 10 year old sister was lost somewhere. She says it was like the parting of the Red Sea. Everyone moved out of her way and helped her find her. She says they were separated for less than 5 minutes but Tina was scared to death something would happen to her little sister. Susie was scared too, but she tried to say she wasn’t.
I guess all is well that ends well but I sure am glad I didn’t know about Mario leaving the boys alone or he wouldn’t be a friend anymore and I’m glad I wasn’t there when Susie and Tina got separated or I might have had a heart attack!
In general though, kids will live up to our expectations of them. So expect good things from them and you’ll get them.