Friday, October 4, 2013
I have a confession to make — after I bought three Taylor Swift concert tickets back in December, I went to my bathroom and cried like a baby. I cried so hard, that I set off my own mother’s Mommy Radar in Alabama.
I was sitting on the floor sobbing when my phone rang, and on the other end was Shuggie. “Baby, what are you doing? I was just sitting here and I couldn’t stop thinking about you and felt like I needed to call. Are you okay?”
I was doing that thing where you cry so hard that words sound like the cries of a wounded animal and I moaned into the phone, “I just spent so much money on concert tickets and I feel horrible. I’m such a bad steward of what God has given me. I need to repent and return them. The girls don’t even know I bought them so it won’t matter,” I choked and sputtered and blew my nose.
Shuggie, in addition to having excellent Mommy Radar, is also one of the most frugal people on the planet. I waited for her to tell me what I already knew — I had to return the tickets. But just when I think I know that woman, she throws me a curveball.
“Honey, it’s okay. You never do stuff like this and your girls will never forget this — you aren’t paying just for tickets. It’s going to be the whole experience of taking them on a trip and going somewhere. Get off the floor and quit crying. Y’all are going to have so much fun.”
So, this weekend I took my two oldest, Aubrey and Emma to Nashville with my best friend Lizzie and her daughter Elizabeth to see Taylor Swift. I was ready to have some fun, but I failed to take into account that the older my kids get, the more awesome they are and the more I love to hang out with them.
As much as I travel for work, I’d never considered that my kids have never really stayed in a hotel, so it was too cute to see their faces when we walked into the high rise and they saw a glass encased elevator going up to the 10th floor. They squealed as the bellman escorted us to our room and one of them yelled, “This is nicer than my house,” as we walked through the doors. (It was a nice hotel room, but it was just a hotel room.) Their sheer joy at each new experience brought tears to my eyes.
I didn’t realize when I was crying on the bathroom floor that I had purchased VIP tickets which not only provided us with dinner, a comfy little room to chill in before the concert but with a photo booth full of props and costumes for the girls to dress up in, as well as a candy bar. And I don’t mean a Hershey’s bar — I mean a bar, stocked with candy and empty bags that the girls could fill themselves. I knew when Emma downed her first Pixie Stick that this was going to be a night to remember.
I had tried to explain the concept of a concert to my girls before we got there, but it wasn’t until we walked into the Bridgestone arena, where thousands of people were singing in the dark, glowsticks and cellphones waving in the air, that the girls finally understood.
We made our way to our seats — third row, center stage (you’re beginning to understand why I was crying, right?) and waited for Taylor Swift to take the stage. Aubrey sat with her fingers in her ears through most of the opening acts, saying she was “saving her energy for Taylor.” As Emma stood in her tiny little cowboy boots and skinny jeans, her eyes weren’t wide enough to take it all in.
When Taylor Swift took the stage my kids went nuts. When she walked to the end of the stage — directly in front of us — I thought they might blackout. She was so close I could’ve touched her, but I didn’t feel like spending the night in jail.
I took turns holding my 9-year-old and 7-year-old so they could see over the few people in front of us. At the end of the concert, as confetti cannons boomed and paper hearts flew through the air toward my daughters’ outstretched arms I realized that my mother was right.
Robin O’Bryant is an author, humorist and speaker. Her latest book is “Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves.” Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and visit her blog at www.robinschicks.com.