Life Balance: When your life exists in such perfect harmony that the energy force within you is in sync with the heartbeat inside. A feeling of overwhelming strength, joy, laughter, love and intelligence that is older then time itself. The sense within you, that your very soul and spirit and divine wisdom are acting as one.
“I took my 13-year old to a heavy metal concert…and lived to tell about it”—Lunatic Mom on the Edge
21st century Moms often try to relax the tight standards they grew up under, in an effort to “bond’ with their children. I believe I crossed the line with this, when I agreed to accompany my son and his friend to a Rise Against Concert.
It all started innocently. After a stringent 2 months grounding and probation period for video taping kids on the bus, my son was desperately trying to suck up and get his life back. He was setting the table without being asked. He vacuumed and picked up the living room. He handed in his homework and didn’t get detention for 3 whole weeks. And then he said “I love you” to me on the phone. We seriously checked him for signs of drug use when he got home that night. We were worried he had crossed the line and we didn’t know how to get him back. He was acting normal. We couldn’t understand the change after the sullen, defiant, lazy child we had lived with for 3 years. We were investigating boot camps to pull him in line. I was calling places on my lunch hour to see who was open for the summer.
Then all this nice behavior didn’t make sense….until he slipped in a CD he burned into the radio when I was driving him to a friends house. Serious bouts of screaming they call music. “Turn it off, “I screamed. “No, Mom, give it a chance. Please. These are the groups I want to go hear in a few months.” What? Go to a concert? “Yes, they are playing close by. On a Friday night. And it’s only $20.” Please? If I pass all my courses, then can we go?”
I remember vaguely nodding yes. It was 2 whole months before the end of the year. This kid was not motivated by anything other then loss of computer IM time. It would never happen….but it did.
I waited until the last minute to buy tickets, hoping the concert would sell out. It didn’t of course. The day came. I was forced to go. It was 95 degrees out. I prayed for air conditioning. The Gods would not listen. It was a cheap remodeled retail store pretending to be a nightclub. I waited in line, listening to the PETA people sign up everyone. Now, I believe in causes….as long as they don’t inconvenience me. They were signing up people for chicken rights. Chicken. As if my $1000 per month food bill wasn’t enough. Really, it took lots of restraint in the 95 degree heat not to jump on them. But I remembered my motto, “You will not embarrass you son, behave.”
We move up the line to pick up the tickets, show our reservation and my credit card. The boys get big X’s on their arms showing they can’t drink. “You staying,” As if most Moms’ don’t bother. “Yup” and I got a fancy wrist band to show I was over 21 and free and white. Whoopee. We go inside, and scope out the area. 20 feet beyond the stage is a split rail fence with 2 slats. Behind the fence, on either side, are large cases to hold speakers, except they are empty. Terrific, Mom has found her spot to sit her carcass down for the 4-hour concert. The boys go front of the fence, away from Mom, so they can be “cool.” I have warned them about straying away from my eyesight. They can do it if they want, but there will be no more concerts if they do…and they are only 13.
So the concert proceeds. The first act is okay, but mostly they live to talk crude. Probably still virgins at the ripe old rock age of 40, but they sure can talk about having sex. Fine, nothing new. I just sit on my box and keep an eye on the Moshe pit. It’s moving around good, but the boys are staying clear. Good. People come and go on the fence or next to me on the speakers. I would love a beer, but don’t dare give up my spot. Next group, more of the same, slightly trashier, even older. Fine, nothing new here. I am drenched in sweat by now. The boys are just jumping up and down and yelling, drenched in the vigor of youth. They are having fun. I just smile and strain to watch them.
People surround me in tattoos, body piercing, leather and tight clothes. I didn’t even know you could pierce the back of your neck or get so many different tats above your derriere. Everyone is sweating, the Moshe Pit is going wild and water is flying. I am in my own little cocoon. Two older guys, with wrist bands, probably about 22, have taken up residence on the fence in front of me, I am thinking for good. One sits to the left of me on the fence, the other leaves a space for me to see the band, and then stands. They are a nice block for the Moshe pit, so I am glad. They have fun pushing obviously wasted kids that fall on them, back into the pit. It makes them laugh. A girl runs around taking pictures. She puts her camera in her back pocket. Next song, it’s of course on the floor. She moves on and doesn’t pick it up. The guy sitting on the fence hops off, and picks up the camera. Before I know what he is up to, he drops his pants and takes 3 pictures of his butt.
It’s been decades since I saw a prime 21 plus butt….Very nice. He does the front also, but alas, I miss out. Mom’s never get a break.
The main group, Rise Against, finally goes on stage. They sound very good, compared to what I have been listening too. I would like to actually enjoy them even though I am now drenched in sweat. The crowd goes wild, and the Moshe pit goes everywhere. It is sucking everyone in. I am grateful for the speaker stand. There is lots of room on the speaker stand, and throughout the night, people, mostly women, come sit next to me. This is fine, I don’t bite.
The Moshe pit is really in a tizzy now and everyone is acting wild. A guy grabs his girlfriend and starts gyrating his hips on her while dancing. Finally, he decides to pull her down on top to him, while lying next to me on the speaker. He is kissing her like wild, and I am sensing immediate danger. I am calculating how quickly I can swing my legs around and push the 2 of them off of me, when the Moshe pit finally pays off, and suck them into the crowd.
This heavy metal Mom was never so grateful for wild and crazy teens. The concert goes on, and finally ends at 11. I am dying, and I can just imagine the boys. It’s the encore, when my son’s friend Marc slowly goes around and grabs my arm. He is soaked. His voice is hoarse and barely audible. “Water, water, we need water. “Okay, let’s go. It’s over anyway.” And then barely crawl to the car. They sleep on the way home. And I laugh, and say “Wow, I lived through it.”