My youngest daughter loves Taylor Swift. Posters, CDs, books, magazines . . . it’s Taylor-mania at our house. My 13-year-old even dreams of meeting her one day. She thinks they’re soul mates.
I’m thrilled that my daughter’s idol is a young woman, who, at the moment, is fairly wholesome. Better Taylor than Britney. Or J-Lo. Positive female role models inspire young girls. I understand that. In my day, there were Charlie’s Angels. But there wasn’t a clear-cut career path for gun-slinging divas in stilettos chasing down bad guys, so the infatuation really didn’t stick.
So when the ex-husband bought my daughter two tickets to the Taylor Swift concert for her birthday, I was elated for her. Until, that is, I discovered his plan was to drop off her and a friend at the arena, by themselves, with no adult supervision. He planned on hanging out a bar across the street until the concert was over.
Yeah, you read that right. I’m not kidding.
Driving children home after you’ve had a few beers aside . . . this overprotective, hovering helicopter mom doesn’t think a concert is a place for two barely-teens to be wandering around alone, even with the false security of being connected to parents through a cell phone. I had no choice but to buy my own overpriced ticket and become their $169 guardian angel for the night.
My daughter, however, saw it differently. “Don’t you trust me, Mom?”
Of course I do! I just don’t trust the thousands of other Taylor fans I DON’T know. While I understand my maturing daughter’s need to spread her wings, I don’t think a concert is a safe place to do it, even if it was being staged at a Disney-owned property.
Yes, I was the bad guy. But I hatched a brilliant idea that would redeem me: Perhaps I could make my daughter’s ultimate dream of meeting Taylor come true by using my press credentials to secure a backstage pass.
I called in every marker I had, even the president of Disney Parks and Resorts, who I interviewed a while back. My reputation as a mother, the all-time miracle worker, was on the line. But no go. Taylor’s handlers had erected a fortress around her. She’s virtually inaccessible to the media.
Sadly, my daughter didn’t get to meet her idol. But we enjoyed the concert together, anyway, in a darkened arena filled with glow sticks and screaming young girls flanked by other protective parents. “Tay-lor! Tay-lor!” her adoring, young fans chanted. A mom next to me quipped, “Man, you’d think this was the Beatles or something!”
As I watched my daughter parrot almost every word to every song about teenage angst and young love, I realized with a mixture of pride and sadness that my little girl is growing up. Her days of teddy bears and lullabies are gone. Now come concerts, slumber parties, secret pacts with friends and dare I say . . . BOYS!
That night, I think I grew bigger in her eyes, too. After the concert, she confessed, “I’m glad you came, mom. I think I would have been scared to be here alone.”
I wish I could have frozen that moment in time. When little girls stay little girls, and mothers feel like heroes.
Lynn Armitage is a freelance writer in Northern California. She also writes the “Spirit of Enterprise” series for ICTMN. She is an enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin.