Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dear Ten Years Coming


Dear Ten Years Coming,

You represent an entire decade: 10 years, 120 months, 520 weeks, 3650 days.  The difference between me being 29 and 39.  The time before children and now.  In other words--a very long time.

Brace yourselves for my announcement:

You guys, I went to a concert.  (*Wide-eyed and nodding head for emphasis*)

A real, pop rock, live concert.

No, I wouldn't believe it if I were you, either.  

You see, the last time Dear Husband and I went to a concert was ten years ago.  I was pregnant with my Dear Daughter.  I remember vividly wondering if the loud music was going to freak the baby out.  But being the freakish pregnant mom-to-be that I was, I was pretty sure that my baby hadn't grown ears or developed auditory nerves, yet, at the time.  So I went, because we got tickets!

That's what having kids did to us.  The kids took over, and we became satellites that revolved around them.

Well, truthfully, that isn't quite true either, since the time before that concert was almost another decade prior as well.  But my valid excuse for that was we were poor, starving college students turned poor, starving graduate school students turned mortgage-paying, babies-raising grownups who never had any extra money lying around, ever.  Concerts to us were extravagant entertainment only for very special artists or for very special occasions.

I guess my special occasion was due.  For my birthday this year, DH bought us tickets to a live concert of one of my favorite artists, with babysitting service already booked and planned.  I was ecstatic.  It meant a very rare date night at an even rarer event into the rarest of hours to return home.  It also meant that I had four months to prepare Dear Son for this.  You see, I had never missed a night of putting him to sleep. 

The four months flew by.  I had planned on studying song lyrics so I could sing along, but Life forgot to set aside Time for me to do that.  On one of the busiest weekends of the month, the concert date came and we all got ready for it.  DS was finally okay with us leaving for the night; DD was very cooperative about helping to care for her little brother with his nightly routines.  They could not have been in better hands than with my SIL and MIL, so I really had nothing to worry about.

Except if you know anything about me, you'd know I'd find something to worry about.

As we parked and walked into the venue, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the fear that we were going to be the oldest people at the concert.  Do people as old as we still go to concerts?  Remember, I hadn't been to one in ten years!  When I asked DH, his response was, "Don't worry, cuz we won't look like we're the oldest people there."  Hmmm.  Good answer.

We then got settled down in our seats at the largest open-air amphitheater in the state, and much to my relief, we weren't the oldest people there.  With that worry out of the way, soon, the magic started right before my eyes.

The music blasted into the crisp, fall air and hugged every inch of space around me.  The bass pounded on my chest and my heart was beating right along with each boom.  I was being swallowed by the sheer volume exiting the speakers, and it shook me into a carefree oblivion.  DH shouted into my ear, "Doesn't loud music bother you?"  I smiled.  I tried to say, "It does, but not when it exceeds a certain level, like this," but I'm pretty sure he couldn't hear what I said.  He didn't have to, because he could tell I was having a great time bopping to the music and trying to sing mouthing the words of the songs. 

It was a beautiful night for an outdoor concert.  The weather could not have been more perfect.  People danced, sang, clapped, and woo-hooed--including the gray-haired couple a few seats down in the row in front of us.  I couldn't help but feel so cool that they liked the same artist as I did!

I marveled at the night air as it did its job--albeit between not-very-subtle and obligatory whiffs of weed and beer--as it delivered the vibrations of each instrument into space and into our hearts.  Horns, drums, guitars, keyboard, violin, accordion, and harmonica all took their turns making music and interpreting the expression of moods and feelings.  The stage and backdrop gifted our eyes with videos, slide shows, light shows, and syncopated lighting while the talented musicians bestowed our ears with melodies, voices, rhythm, and soul.

His music was something special.  His songs made my feet bounce the rest of me to the beats.  His words brought forth my laughter and tears.  His voice was uh-mazing.  The colors of his voice varied from the depth of a mahogany to the clarity of crystal blue, from the warmth of fall leaves to the ease of nature's greens.  His stories were heartfelt and compelling, his motto was simply Love, and his messages reflected the need for people be kind to earth and be responsible citizens of the world.  I marveled at how some people have the gift of music and can pack an amphitheater of 12,000 people.  I guess there was a good reason why I was there, too.

It was a night to remember.  Not only did DS go to sleep without a fuss, DD took care of him like the wonderful big sister that she always has been.  Even though we got back home well past midnight and had to get up early the next morning, we still muddled through the busy day fairly well.  Which means--really--I can get used to this.  It could be our new norm: we'll gladly sacrifice our old age routines to experience a music high, even if it costs us a few more gray hairs or age spots for one night of fun.

As long as it happens again before another decade passes by.

So, Dear Ten Years Coming, I certainly hope that we'll go to another concert soon and not repeat your last record.  Because if music speaks to our souls, then live music most certainly enables meaningful conversations between the the two, resonating the art and passion of music and soul. 

I am still high from the music of that night.

Sincerely,
Me


24 comments:

  1. Love it, so glad you got to do this! Music is one of my great loves and LIVE music is just that much better. I hope you get to experience it again soon!

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    1. Thanks, Sean! I love music as well, but the difference between a recording and a live performance is enormous! I think I can appreciate it so much more now that I have age on my side, too. Oh, I hope to experience it again, soon, too; I've made many a hints to DH since! :)

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  2. Yay!
    You already know my love for music, and my obsession with seeing a certain bunch LIVE. I bet this was tons of fun...I always feel like I got a chance to seriously leave the world as I know it when I go to a concert. Things are just...different. The best is that for those few hours, there is NOTHING ELSE.
    I also empathize with that 'oldest people there?' fear, as I experience it every time, until I actually get there and then I stop giving a shit, either because I am not the oldest or because people see me through beer or other goggles and I suddenly appear younger to them or more accurately, I.Don't.Care once the first note is played,reverberating through my mind, erasing anything unnecessary, if only momentarily. Speaking of old, apologies if this comment is filled with typos, commenting via iPad from my officebed, can barely see...
    Also? Love the pic up there, very cool.

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    1. Seriously, I felt it. I felt the magic of a live concert and how there's nothing else more important than the blasting music for that short period of time! It was so awesome.

      I am relieved that you understand my fear--I didn't mean to sound silly, but I was a valid concern of mine. But even if we were the oldest there, I probably wouldn't have cared at all because the music just took all my worries away. Except being the amateurs that we were, we didn't plan out the booze part; we had said we'd get beer later, but the later just never happened since we didn't want to miss any part of the concert. I think that part would have made the experience even more 'mesmerizing', shall I put it that way? :)

      Now I just have to somehow get my DH to a Springsteen concert (he's a huge fan, and we won't have to worry about the age thing), and myself to a DMB concert, and I will be nearly complete. I promise these will happen within the next decade. :) Thanks so much, Kim!

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  3. I love how you portrayed your experience of this great night. Reading this brought me back to every concert I've ever been to and how touched and moved I was the whole time I was experiencing it AND the long time afterwards. :)
    I hope as the kids get older, that you and DH get to experience many more concerts and music highs like this one :)

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    1. Oh, I think we will, Cassie! Better late than never, and this has just jump-started our plans for the next ones to look out for! I wish it wasn't so hard to get Springsteen tickets, cuz that would be the ultimate gift for DH. He's been in town a few times in the last decade, but it was never really possible with the kiddos. Now that they're older, I'm certain that this gift may one day happen! Thanks for sharing my music high, Cassie!

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  4. There's nothing quite like seeing a band play live and I'm so glad you were able to share in this experience again with your hubby. I don't think it matters how long you feel 'out of the game' as long as you pick yourself up and make an effort to do it again. And clearly it was an enjoyable evening for you both; and your kids were in good hands, too!

    Sounds like a wonderful evening and so very happy you had this experience :)

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Charlotte! Yes, we had a great time because for those few short hours, we felt young and fearless again. There really isn't anything quite like that experience, and I'm sure we'll do this again sooner than later. This was really a big step for all of us, kiddos included, and that really excites me to no end. :)

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  5. I haven't seen Prince in 10 years. That's all over on Tuesday! I still regret not paying whatever necessary to see him in Las Vegas.

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    1. Elaine, I never knew you were a Prince fan?! I'm really excited that you're going to see him next week; you will have a blast! Thanks for stopping by, and HAVE FUN!

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  6. Jason Mraz's song, I Won't Give Up has become one dear song to me, a song for a special, dear event in my life. I'm really happy that you were able to have a wonderful time at a concert, and well, I'm sure the music was worth it!

    LW

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    1. Hi, LW! 'I Won't Give Up' was the very last song of the concert, and I think the entire audience sang it with him. It is also a very special one for me, and I wrote about it here titled 'Dear Four-Year-Old' earlier this year. I think it's awesome that we are connected by this one similarity, since music does that--uniting people by sharing its associations. You are right--I still think the tickets are expensive, but it was certainly worth the awesome experience! (I love that you like JM!)

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  7. I'm glad you guys got to go to a concert. It's good to get out once in a while without the kids and the music is just an added bonus. (I know it's good to get out alone, but we don't do it very often...babysitters are expensive. But if grandma and grandpa volunteer for a sleepover, we take that!)

    We've been to George Strait three times. The first time we went, it was our first date. (I'm much happier if I remember my earplugs, though. Loud music gets to me.)

    I hope you get to go again soon...you should definitely do it before the next 10-year mark.

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    1. I can count on one hand the number of times we don't include the kiddos on outings in a year, so any time we get by ourselves is a gift. That is very sweet that you have a sentimental concert, and I hope there will be more! I would definitely like to do this more often! Thanks, Janna!

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  8. So happy you had a chance to get out and enjoy a great concert. I love going to outdoor concerts. They are so much more fun than indoor arena events... It's been a few years since our last concert and I miss it. Guess, I need to get my butt in gear and see who's playing around here and just drag the hubby along!!!! :)

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    1. Yes! Outdoors is a totally different experience, I'd say! And with perfect weather, you just can't beat it. Now is the time to revisit 'carpe diem' and go to concerts to get more out of life, I've learned! I hope you find some good ones to see with your hubby, Susi!

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  9. Wow, 10 years! That's something to be celebrated -- the being able to go to the concert, not the having to wait 10 years ;). I guess if I had to choose something Alan and I loved to do, but don't because of J, it'd be bike riding on weekends. We used to bike 30-50 miles every Saturday. Loved it. But the last time we did that was about a year ago (?). We don't like the idea of J on a bike trailer, so that's why we haven't gone out. But I'm sure there's nothing to worry about and we should try to. Anyways, congrats on being able to enjoy the concert and all the kiddies were happy at home!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! We are also waiting for DS to learn how to bike so we can go on trails together as a family. DH keeps daydreaming about where and when to go, except I have to keep reminding him that we don't have bikes. But maybe we will when we get to that point down the road! How fun would it be when J can ride along with you and hubby on his own and not in a trailer?! Something to look forward to...

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  10. How exciting to go on a date night as fun as that! And Jason Mraz is such a great singer, definitely a good pick for your first concert in 10 years. I hope you are able to go see Springsteen sooner rather than later, especially sooner than 10 years!

    My husband and I have never been to a concert together, and it's been almost 11 years-and we can't even blame our kids for that since Emma's only 3!

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    1. I really do hope to get Springsteen tickets soon. At least at his concert I won't have to worry about being the oldest :). I hope you and your hubby will get to enjoy a concert together soon. It's quite an experience--I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Thanks so much for stopping by, Rachel!

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  11. Hooray! I am very happy for you.
    Next time around, you will be less anxious because now you know that your children will do well for a few hours without you especially if they have a company they love and trust and who love them in return. When I was a new mother, I was very anxious about leaving my child with my in-laws - I am a little paranoid, see? I was constantly worried. nater did I realize the value of being able to go out with my husband just the two of us and of being able to relax and trust others about taking care of the children occasionally.

    Here's to your next concert. :-)
    ~Imelda

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    1. Responding to you via email, as always...

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  12. I won't even tell you that there are certain smells I wouldn't recognize.... Glad you had fun, although a loud Jason Mraz song just seems odd to me. But hey, it's been awhile since I've been to a concert. And I went to Ravinia the last time I did ;)

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    1. It was so much fun. He played a great variety of songs--rocked out some and sang some signature ballads--and sounded so great live. And loud. I don't count Ravinia as concerts since we have never sat in a seat (only on the lawn). And we usually go to the classical concerts, too.

      Oh, and you're not missing out on not knowing certain smells, believe me. :)

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