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Thanks, Taylor

I took the Princess to the Taylor Swift concert Saturday night. I really didn’t want to go, but purely for logistical reasons. I was dead tired Saturday. We had to get up at 0-dark-thirty Saturday morning for Big Man’s first cross country meet, followed by a long dance day and trying – rather unsuccessfully – to get our house from “dump” status to “somewhat clean and organized” status. Then there was the fact getting to the venue and finding parking, downtown, with 45,000 other people, was not going to be a cakewalk. I just wasn’t that motivated. But I knew the Princess was excited, and we were going with another mom and two of her girls. And I knew once I was there, it would be awesome. So I cleaned myself up, and away we went. It was just as good as I’d expected it to be.

We saw T-Swift four years ago on her Speak Now tour. You have to admire the girl. She puts on a fabulous, entertaining show. But it’s more than that…the message she has for young girls, teenage girls, and even grown up girls is beautiful. She took a few moments at one point to talk about trolls and bullies, how you shouldn’t let something someone who doesn’t even really know you says affect the way you see yourself or live your life. Do what makes you happy. Be who you are. Surround yourself with people who build you up. And build up those around you. The Princess is definitely at an age she needs to hear that from someone besides her mother.

I listened to the lyrics, and realized another reason I like Taylor. Her music takes me back and reminds me what it was like to dream of romance before it ever happened to me. I’m reminded of first love, young love, crushes that consumed, and the heartbreak of those crash-and-burn relationships. I recall the hope, the newness, the pitter-patter of a young heart when that boy finally talked to me. Sigh…..Listening to her music makes me remember who I was then, what it was like then. It brings back that part of me, that young, hopeful girl.

I took the greatest joy in sitting beside my girl, listening to her sing all the words of all the songs. I choked up at the happiness and excitement showing so clearly on her face. I could see her dreams of love and romance flashing before my eyes. The world lays before her, her life so young. I remember being that girl.

There was such a contrast between what we saw in Taylor’s performance Saturday night, and what we saw of other artists during the VMA’s last night. I must be getting old, because I was fairly disgusted within seconds of that show starting. Do these people really think they need to be crude to sell their music? I’m not a prude. I listen to a lot of current music. Language and content don’t tend to bother me. And I’ve said before I rarely censor what my kids listen to. But this was just gross to be gross. Shock and awe. While T-Swift may have made her show a bit more mature than we’ve seen in the past, it wasn’t raunchy or disgusting. There were a lot of little girls there Saturday  night, and there wasn’t one moment I was embarrassed for them to see what was happening onstage.

The Princess caught me singing along to a few of the songs. She giggled a couple of times. But then during one song, she just smiled,  lay her head on my shoulder, and reached over to hold my hand. Remember a couple of weeks ago I wrote about being just the mom, to be seen and not heard? In that moment, for that one song, I wasn’t “just the mom.” We were partners in crime, we were sharing the music, creating a memory. I’ll carry that with me, and bring it out to look at when she’s being an obnoxious teenage girl. So thank you,  Taylor, for giving this old mom and her teenage daughter something over which to connect. I know we weren’t the only mother/daughter to experience this. In the next row over sat a grandma, her daughter, and her granddaughter. They were all dressed in matching outfits….white t-shirt, black shorts, knee high black socks, red and black tutus, and black cat ears. They were adorable. But the best part was watching all three of them dancing and singing throughout the entire concert. That alone was worth the ticket price.

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