Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Last weekend, my husband and I took our seven-year old to her first musical concert. Based on her behavior, it's likely she will become a professional groupie someday.

Instead of breaking Emma's concert cherry on the Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus, hubby and I opted for something a little more palatable to the adult ear. We chose Snatam Kaur (pronounced 'sah-nah-tum car'), a singer of the Sikh tradition who sings about God, peace, love, beauty, and everything else that is righteous in the world. Emma has grown up with Snatam's music, often choosing to listen to her angelic voice before she nods off at the end of the night. When we told Emma that we were taking her to see Snatam live in concert, she practically peed her Curious George undies.

Like all dedicated concertgoers, we went early so as to get good seats. Emma used her significant persuasive abilities to get us into the hall early, and we were able to grab seats in the first seated row. Since I had attended a Snatam Kaur concert previously, I knew that there would be several people that would sit on the floor in front of us. Regardless, I thought that snagging front-row seats was not too shabby.

Apparently, Emma disagreed.

Right before Snatam and her band took the stage, Emma noticed that a handful of kids had sat down at the bottom of the steps in front of the stage. The little peanut worked through her social fear of interacting with strange kids and plopped herself next to an older girl at the end of the stairs. I could easily recognize the discomfort in my daughter's face as she so desperately wanted to talk to the girl but was afraid of possible rejection. (Oops...I wonder where she learned that little trick?)

No matter; when Snatam appeared onstage, Emma instantly lost interest in all others. She was captivated by the sight and sound of this beautiful creature performing in front of her. Like a moth to the flame, Emma ever-so-subtly inched her way around all of the kids and got closer, closer, closer to Snatam over the next several songs. Before I knew it, my daughter was thisclose to jumping right on top of Snatam's harmonium and giving her a big, fat hug.

This is where my parental dilemma kicked in. It was obvious -- at least to me -- that my daughter was committing a major social faux-pas with her stage squirming. My ego was fearing that the entire audience was tsk-tsk-tsking the unruly little urchin in white (and her rotten parents) for so blatantly breaking through the fourth wall. I kept thinking that I "should" go get Emma and bring her back to the fold where all of the other semi-well-behaved children sat. Yet, there was another voice inside me yelling, "You rock on, girl! Get your booty as close as possible! You've only got one chance!" (I was reminded of myself at the ripe young age of 21 performing superhuman efforts to get thisclose to Bono at a U2 concert. To have no other human being between my musical god and me was one of the most intoxicating, delicious moments of my youth. Those leather pants...his glistening body...the serpentine way he moves...what was I talking about again? Oh yeah. My daughter.)

In the end, I opted to support my daughter's groupie tendency. I let her sit within feet of her musical heroine, reigning her in only once with a stern look and my pointer finger when she threatened to literally lay on the stage. Who knows? Maybe there were a few tsk-tsk-tskers in the audience that night. I can't say for sure. But what I can say for sure is that there is an ecstatic little seven-year old who has an amazing memory of her first concert ever.

Yep. I made the right decision.


For your consideration and/or comment:

What was your first concert experience? What was your most memorable one?


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