Tag Archives: One Direction

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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The Sunday Salon: Currently, 8/10/2014

The Sunday Salon

Time/Place: 8:28 p.m., my family room

Watching: My kids are watching the Teen Choice Awards.  It’s been 29 minutes and I’ve lost count of how many arguments they’ve gotten into already. I may need to separate them. (You’d think they were toddlers. They’re 12.)

Eating/Drinking: I’m wrestling with yet another killer sinus headache this weekend, so I made a pot of gluten-free matzoh ball soup for dinner. Green beans and veggie chicken patties (the latter being for The Husband and kids) rounded out our meal.

Flight BehaviorListening: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver is still my audio book in the car, for at least the second week in a row. I have it on my Kindle too and I read some while waiting for The Boy at an appointment this afternoon.

Anticipating: Audio books and my Kindle are going to be my primary reading mainstays for the upcoming week. The kids and I are road-trippin’ it back to my hometown of Philadelphia mid-week. The Boy will be spending a few days with my in-laws, and The Girl and I are heading to the One Direction concert. (My girl is beyond obsessed with One Direction, to put it kindly.) We’re going to the concert with my best friend since 4th grade and her daughter.  I’ll get to spend a rare day hanging out with my BFF along with some time at my mom’s.

The kids will wrap up their summer vacation (school starts in two weeks!) with some time at the grandparents’ while I head back to the ‘Burgh solo – and in addition to finishing up Flight Behavior, I have Rob Lowe’s second memoir, Love Life queued up to listen to.  (I mean, I can certainly think of less desirable people than Rob Lowe to spend six hours in the car with.) Also on deck as an audio book is Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink.

Reading: Because of the bricks sitting on my sinuses, reading has been a bit difficult – a very unfortunate situation because I’m in the middle of History of the Rain by Niall Williams. This is one of the nominees for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, and my God, this is so damn good.

I seriously underestimated this book at first. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to make of this novel about the Swains, a fishing family living in Ireland. It’s narrated by a bedridden Ruth Swain (as of page 152, we still don’t know why) who is mourning her twin brother Aeney (we don’t know what happened to him, but Williams has given his reader a sense of the circumstances). Ruth is trying to better understand her father Virgil (yes, Virgil) by reading the 3,958 books – mostly classics – that he owned and that are stacked throughout her room. She references them a lot in her direct narration to the reader. (Someone needs to start a book club of all 3,958 of these books.)

Doesn’t sound like much, right? I know. But the writing in this one is fantastic. And the character of Ruthie! My heart’s breaking for her. This is what The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (which I did not like) could have been.

Anyway. This is probably going to be among my favorite books of 2014. I’d love to see this win The Man Booker Prize so it gets more attention. (‘Course, I haven’t read any of the others, but whatever.)

Poetry June 2014Finally, despite an especially busy workweek, I was able to get outside for lunch several times this week and read for a bit. For whatever reason, poetry has been somewhat of a stress-reliever lately while still continuing to elude me most of the time. (Go figure.) Perhaps I just like a literary challenge – or, perhaps, not too much of one that I can’t move along quickly to the next piece.

I’m really liking the various literary journals that the Library subscribes to, and they’ve been my lunchtime reading. This week I read the June 2014 issue of Poetry Magazine, published by the Poetry Foundation. I was most struck by Anne Frank’s High Heels” by Phillis Levin. Right from the title, we know Anne Frank didn’t wear high heels – she didn’t get a chance to. What those high heels represent – the possibilities, the future, the journeys yet to be taken, the roads to be discovered – give Phillis Levin’s poem even more of a sense of loss, making it even more powerful.

(Go ahead and click on the link to read it – and take special note of the date mentioned in the poem.)


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