Live While You (and They’re) Young: A Parent’s Guide for Surviving One Direction

 

One Direction - See You in Philadelphia - Aug 13, 2014

The Day has finally, blessedly arrived.

The Girl and I have arrived in Philadelphia for the momentous occasion of this evening’s One Direction concert at Lincoln Financial Field, which we’ll be attending with approximately 80,000 other devotees.

To say that my girl is a One Direction fan is putting it mildly.  Every visible space in her room is covered with some piece of 1D merchandise: posters, magazine articles, even a life-size cardboard cut-out of Harry Styles himself.  She writes a 1D blog. I’ve been informed that Mr. Styles is my future son-in-law, a prospect which The Husband and I heartily approve of because it will accelerate the likelihood that The Husband and I may actually get to retire someday (at least before, say, age 96).

Tonight’s concert extravaganza is not our first time paying homage (and a boatload of money) to the lads of One Direction.  We saw them last summer in Pittsburgh, an experience which qualifies me – in my humble opinion – to offer up some advice to my fellow parental concert-goers this evening on how to properly enjoy the show and their kid’s One Direction obsession.

1. Get familiar with the music. 

Back in the day, our parents knew every line of every song by heart of our favorite bands. Not so much anymore, in the days of iPods and iWhatevers.  Chances are, you know a few of 1D’s most popular songs but you might want to give yourself a crash course in the others. Dare I say, there’s some pretty stuff on those three albums of theirs. Because we’re going to the concert with my BFF from 4th grade and in my hometown of Philadelphia, I’ve already told my daughter that this mom who cries at credit card commercials is likely to break out the tissues for “Don’t Forget Where You Belong,” if it’s included in their repertoire. (“Don’t forget where you belong–home/ Don’t forget where you belong–home/  If you ever feel alone–don’t/  You were never on your own/ And the proof is in this song.”)  Cheesy? Hell, yeah. But cheese is good.  

2. Use the experience as the bonding experience it is. 

That time your best friend camped out overnight for Michael Jackson tickets at Gold Medal Sporting Goods and you weren’t allowed but your mom relented and drove you over there at 4 a.m. anyway? The one about the band who you did PR work for when they came to your college and your then-boss hit on them but got pissed when the musicians flirted with your 20 year old self instead? All true, in my case.) This is a prime opportunity to drag out those stories and show your kid that you, too, know what it’s like to be A Fan of Good Music. And cute musicians.

On second thought, maybe some stories are not quite ready for prime time. Just sayin’. But it’s a hell of lot of fun to dance down memory lane.

3. Embrace the passion.

If Directioners are anything else, they’re passionate. At least my kid is. And that’s the thing that makes this fun. Our lives can sometimes seem a bit, well, routine.  At least mine is. Concerts and carefree road-trippin’ five hours across the state to see a band are very much a thing of my ancient past. But here’s what I’ve learned through my daughter’s obsession with One Direction:

Remembering what it was like then to love something so deeply (whether it was that boy from down the street or that boy band from an ocean away), somehow makes it possible to rediscover the passion and the fun in your life today. Sure, staying up all night might be defined as 9:00 p.m. now.  But in the midst of this, it’s still possible to find the stuff that memories will be made of.

And live while you – and they – are still young.

 

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