I Can’t Go Back, but My HEART Goes On

With my 44th birthday rearing its ugly, wrinkled head tomorrow, I’ve recently realized that life moves on. Or it just really, really changes.

Case in point:

I’ve attended two HEART concerts in my lifetime. Once when I was a freshman in college, and the other a couple of weeks ago. HEART sang many of the same songs, but, WOW, my experience was very different.

When I went the first time, I was young and independent, the world at my feet. I went with one of my best friends-turned-very-briefly-boyfriend, John. We were several rows back from the stage, and I was so close I could see Nancy and Ann Wilson’s makeup as they crooned away about barracudas and a magic man. The smell of pot floated through the air behind me, and we watched in disappointment when other people drank their beers. We weren’t old enough yet. We were just wee babies at eighteen.

After listening to the concert and dancing and singing, we made our uneventful way home. I saved my ticket stub for years, and I always looked back with fondness and a touch of excitement to that concert.

Take the remote and fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. HEART. Still crooning about barracudas and a magic man, but add some Led Zeppelin tunes in there, and you have a slightly different concert. But, it wasn’t the songs or the artists that made the experience so different. Nope.

I went with my family. Yes. That’s right. I took my five kids (ages 7, 8, 10, 12, and 13) plus a neighborhood friend of my kids’ to a Heart concert. My husband was there too, along with another couple and their daughter. We got upgraded from lawn seats into the pavilion, which should have made any sane person happy. But, I’m not sane. I’m a mom of five hellions. And they can’t be contained in seats! They need to run wild and free.

Before the concert started, we noticed other people venturing out to the lawn, leaving their upgraded prison seats. So we followed. I didn’t have to continue telling my son to stop kicking the back of the seats. My other son was literally rolling down the hill, over and over and OVER again. The kids were screaming and dancing to Barracuda—which was the only song they really knew.

I became nostalgic, listening to the familiar songs, so I sent John a message that I was thinking of him and our first concert experience. Being the great friend that he remained through the years, he sent me back a message. I was all sappy and thinking about my youth when my youngest, who was asleep on the blanket beside me, bolted upright and proceeded to puke on me.

The nostalgia went away, replaced with some disgust at cleaning up vomit. Even though I was now old enough (way past legal drinking age) to enjoy my margarita in a tall plastic guitar-shaped cup, my buzz was gone. My youngest ruined my fuzzy, sappy buzz.

Later, my husband said to my daughter: “Don’t worry about it. Many people have puked at their first concert. Congratulations!  You’re one of them.”

The adults all laughed at that.

Then Shannon said with a firm nod and all the wisdom of her seven years: “Yeah. They probably had too much popcorn, too.”

Ahhh. You can’t go back. And, really, I wouldn’t want to. Well, not for too long…☺