My first concert was a very memorable experience. As a lover of music, I had waited my whole life to see a live show. I never got the opportunity as a child. It wasn’t until I was grown that I went to see 10,000 Maniacs in Birmingham, Alabama. It was phenomenal. I fell in love with the experience, being at one with the artist. It was the best. So imagine how excited I was when the opportunity came for my kids to see their first concert. They wouldn’t have to wait until they were grown. They would get to see a legend, while still children. Let’s do it! Let’s ALL go see Charlie Daniels!
I talked to them about what a concert was and how fortunate they were to get this chance. They all seemed eager to go. Now mind you the words “We won’t have time for any reading or studying because the concert is on a school night” could have played a part in their enthusiasm as well. Either way it was a done deal. We were all in.
The night arrived. I dug out some old cds (yes I still have those) and we hopped into the car. I played all the old songs and sang along. I had them worked into a frenzy with The Devil Went Down To Georgia. What a fun song. It was going to be an awesome night.
We arrived in plenty of time, so my first thought was to get everyone’s belly full. I didn’t need anyone whining about being hungry later. Whatever they wanted, cookies, sugary drinks, this night was all about fun. Then what do you do with kids after they all eat? You take them to the bathroom. We lined them up like cattle. I don’t care if you don’t have to go, give me whatever you got. We are not going to come back out here once the concert starts. Everyone went, we were good to go.
We found our seats with ease, on the floor, ten rows back. We were going to get a good look at him too. This was going to be awesome. The lights came on and an opening act came onto the stage. My kids, super excited, yelled is THAT Charlie? No, no that is not him, but just you wait. The kids watched intently. Then another artist performed. Is THAT Charlie? No, no not yet. It was a young, popular country artist. They watched him, not as intently, but still, they were watching.
A couple of more artists came on, this was a benefit concert, so the acts were lined up. Then it was finally time. It was time for the man himself. Across the stage walks that famous white hat. Here he is kids! The minute you have all been waiting for tonight. I turn around to see my peeps and I couldn’t believe my eyes.
The thrill was gone? How is this possible? The main act just stepped on the stage. I couldn’t let this happen. I pulled them from their seats. You have to dance to the Charlie Daniels Band! I pulled all of my fun mom moves. I was dancing and clapping. Listen to that fiddle! I look at my son and asked him did he want to dance with me, his reply? He needed to go pee. I knew we shouldn’t have bought that bottled water.
Daddy takes him and I continue to work on the other three. Do you know who this man is? He is a country music legend! How can you just sit there? I look and the baby is lying in his chair trying to go to sleep. My daughter has her fingers in her ears because the music is too loud. What is going on with these kids?
Finally after much begging I get one of them up with me. He started dancing, slinging his jacket around in unison with the music. Finally, one kid is enjoying himself. The other three look like they would rather be doing homework. The second and third kids say now THEY need to go pee. Unbelievable. I don’t remember concerts being this much work.
Okay I get it. It is getting late now and they are tired. There is a reason I have a strict bedtime most nights for them. I look back and there are four kids sleeping in chairs. Even my little dance partner has given up. I guess I have learned my lesson. I am a little tired myself but Daddy has a surprise for us all before we go.
We get in a line and before I know it we are staring at THE man. We are getting a family picture with Charlie Daniels himself. Here comes our next Christmas card. How did he pull that off? We walk up to where his band is sitting behind some tables. We attempt to squeeze in close and get it over with because I am sure he has only done this one zillion times today. With four little people, there is danger of them not being seen by the lens. Two band members were incredibly generous and jumped up to give two kids their chairs. Daddy was holding the baby, as he tends to be the wild-card in any situation. We all know Mama has to focus on looking good so I can’t be holding a 7 year old. That only leaves one man.
The nicest man in the universe, bends downs and says “Come here little buddy” and picks up my son and places him on his lap. My first born son is sitting in Charlie Daniels’s lap. What is happening here? My son, frozen with confusion and fear (because let’s face it, Charlie does look a little too much like Santa Claus) doesn’t make a move. Everyone is quiet. Everyone is looking at a camera (confusing because there were two cameras there). We just got a portrait with a country music legend.
Now you will argue that my kids are too little to appreciate the experience and you would be correct. It is evident by the look on their faces in the photo. But one day, they are going to see that picture and realize what an awesome thing we were able to do for them. The only thing I see when I look at that picture is how composed I look. Thanks to the Charlie Daniels Band for looking after my kids 😉