Friday, May 28, 2010

Future Groupies in the Making

Mother's Day was supposed to be all about Grandma and Mom and not about me at all.

Being the lowly 3rd rung on the ladder of moms in our family, it is my job to take care of the other 2 - my Mom and Grandma (not to mention my Aunts, who get an honorable mention on Mother's Day for all of their motherlyness). My sole existence on Mother's Day is to it's kind of like any other day of the year for me, except there's usually pie.

This year my husband was working so it was up to the kids to "pamper" me before we headed over to my parents for the annual Mother's Day/Grandma's Birthday (she turned 92 this year - WHOOT!) celebration. I faked slumber as they rustled around in the kitchen. Fought off the incredible urge to check on them by pulling the covers up over my head and telling myself (as I was rocking back and forth worrying about the mess or them burning themselves) that it was all going to be alright. In the words of the great Bob Marley, "No Woman No Cry."

Finally they trip-tropped up the stairs, tray in hands, singing "Happy Mother's Day To You" to the tune of "Happy Birthday."

It was one of those throat-seizing, heart-swelling, eyes-watering like a fountain moments.

Despite the eggs that would have been perfectly cooked had they been given another 30 seconds in the pan.

So there I sat, enjoying (choking down really, I'd never make a good Fear Factor contestant) my underdone eggs, my multi-colored pancakes and my big glass of milk as each one of my kids lay sprawled out all over my bed. All that was missing was my husband, who was busy saving lives and rescuing cats out of trees at the firestation.

It was one of those throat-seizing, heart-swelling, eyes-watering like a fountain moments.


When we got to my parent's house, it wasn't long before the usual chaos ensued (and I mean that in a good way - chaos, in my family, is as common as breathing). Someone had to go get Grandma and Grandpa. Someone had to put on some nice music. Someone had to make sure the snacks were put out. Someone had to uncork the wine.

You know, the usual.

I was so distracted by the hustle and the bustle and the kisses on the cheeks and the, "I'm so happy to see yous" to all of my family that I didn't notice anything out of place.

I certainly didn't notice my husband (WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AT WORK) walking in through the patio door.

I'm no good at public emotion.

I think I get that from someone, but I'm not sure who. The inside of me was crying and weepy and sniffly and all "OMG, it's like a moooooovie, you showing up like this to surprise me." But the outside of me gave him a big hug and a knowing look and a "thank you" for this very special surprise, keeping my composure the entire time. Man, I should start playing cards - I have a pretty good poker face.

And then I opened the card.

And I was all "OMG, it's like a moooooovie" all over again.

And I collapsed...on the inside. For the card contained not one, not two, but FIVE tickets to see my favorite, favorite, favorite (you get the picture) band - The Dave Matthews Band - at The Gorge in September.

A little back story here: I have loved this band for eternity. Now. I'm sure many people say that, and having been to a show or two (or twelve) I know by the atmosphere that I'm not the only person in the world who loves them so. But, I'm kind of selfish. Ever since my brother and I saw them in a BAR in Vancouver, BC, in 1995 (or so - the early years, oh they can be so very fuzzy), I have loved them. I'm not talking love, as in "Oh that's a great band, I like they way they sound." I'm talking l-o-v-e love them.

Had I known then that they'd be as big as they are now, I so would have snuck backstage and offered to buy each one of them an icy cold Labatt's. But, you know what they say about hindsight.

Since then, I've snatched up every opportunity I can to see them live - or to see Dave alone, with Tim Reynolds, or even with the Dalai Lama (with a little Ann Curry thrown in for good measure). And each experience is new, moving, emotional and enlightening. I hold that band so close to my heart that it kind of irritates me when I hear them being played in an elevator or supermarket because I think a) they are too good for that, and b) now I feel old. But upon further thought I think hey - music is for sharing and if it's over the speakers in the produce section or atop the rock cliffs of The Gorge...than so be it.

You get the point. I kind of love them.

So it was only natural that I share them with my family. Which is exactly what we did last September.

Laden with snacks, blankets, sunscreen and earplugs, we made the 3 hour trip to The Gorge in the hot September sun to see them. Brett had bought VIP parking (made it so much nicer) which allows early entry and more tailgating than you can wrap your brain around. There was much hacky-sacking, singing, visiting and community in the crowd which waited for the chance to be the first inside the gates to the "lawn" area where the real fans prefer to watch the show and my kids got to experience every bit of it.

Well, not the apple pie moonshine.

We met people from all over the country, many of whom had been following the band all summer, and I delighted in the looks on my children's faces when they listened, along with everyone else, to concert stories and tales of meeting other fans at each stop along the tour. Some of these people had formed real friendships over the years with fellow concert-goers and now co-ordinated their concerts in order to see one another and share the DMB experience for yet another time.

It reminded me of stories I used to hear friends tell of their parents, when following The Grateful Dead, back in the day. Except with less acid.

It was, and always is, all good.

I can't tell you exactly what my kiddos were thinking for their first real concert (I don't count The Wiggles or Disney on Ice as a concert, I mean - really), but I can tell you this...they loved it. And those kids of mine? They are practically experts at running down the lawn and finding the best, closest, most awesome spot of grass to park ourselves.

That's why we're taking them again this year, of course. And hopefully many more to follow. I can't wait.

It isn't so bad being the 3rd mom in line for the throne on Mother's Day, after all.


Miller Family said...

What a neat story! The Gorge is a beautiful place to watch a concert too! It's only 45 mintues away from where we live. I'll be thinking of you come DMB weekend. And what a great surprise by your husband! Very thoughtful...aren't we so lucky to have such wonderful husbands? Michelle

Kyla said...

How awesome!!

Anonymous said...

Hard, knowing Brett had secretly arranged for the day off.. but easy, about the DMB tickets.. because that was a wonderful, TOTAL surprise to us, too!

a keeper.

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Kendra said...

Great story! It must be really hard, having a husband with such unpredictable hours and such hard work. Don't get me wrong, I'm constantly and eternally grateful for every firefighter there is; I just don't know if I could handle being married to one. That's really special that he would surprise you with taking time off like that.

Sounds like the concert was an amazing experience. I'm a Dave Matthews fan in the most passing way, in that I like them when I hear them but don't have the time or energy to feel more strongly about it. But for your Mother's Day and your kids' first concert, what a great experience that must have been!

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