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…☺

35 thoughts on “I Can’t Go Back, but My HEART Goes On

  1. This is a fantastic story! Popcorn, ah yes, how I remember “popcorn” making me puke at many a concert! Ha-ha!

    Happy early birthday!!!!!!!! Cancer birthdays are the bestest! 😉

    1. Kerri,
      Yes! Cancer birthdays are the bestest! 🙂 We know how to throw down with glitter a-plenty, so here’s to many more sparkly birthdays for us both!

  2. Heart performed Stairway to Heaven for the Led Zeppelin portion of the show at the Kennedy Center Honors. They nailed it! My brother is a huge Heart fan. I think of him when I hear Barracuda. My kids’ first concert was No Doubt and Paramore. My husband and I were definitely the oldest people there. When Gwen Stefani took the stage, we were the only ones sitting too. Yeah, I’m that old. Happy Birthday!

    1. Mary Jo,
      Heart also played Stairway to Heaven and several other Zeppelin songs. It’s funny how my kids knew most of those songs. Led Zeppelin is my husband’s favorite group. I’ve been to concerts where I’ve been the youngest (Frankie Avalon when I was in the sixth grade and had a massive crush on him in his Beach Blanket movies) and Neil Diamond. My friend and I joked that we had a beeline for our car and could get out of the parking lot the fastest because we weren’t held up by our walkers. LOL. But I’ve also been to see Taylor Swift and Glee. So, I’m all over the board, concert-wise. Hopefully it will keep me young…if only in my HEART. 🙂

  3. First — happy (early) birthday!
    Second, what a fun post! Well, except for the vomit. I probably shouldn’t have laughed so much at that one but – can I share? Hubby and I saw the same show here in NY (at the beach. in the rain. loved it) and hubby was saying he really hoped that whoever sat in front of us wouldn’t be pot smokers because he couldn’t have his rain jacket smelling like weed. I told him not to worry — I’m the ultimate weapon. If the people in front of us started sparking up, I would simply warn them, in complete honesty, that pot makes me vomit and they are directly in my line of fire : )
    All that said, I hope you got to enjoy most of the concert before the popcorn overload incident.
    And now I think I’ll go pop in my Heart CD and get nostalgic of all of us +40 babes.

    1. Jennifer,
      Thanks so much for stopping by and getting all nostalgic with me. It’s so fun when you’re not doing it alone. 🙂 That’s funny about the pot smokers. There were people smoking pot on the lawn, and my kids kept saying something smelled like a skunk. I’ve never liked pot, but–for some reason–I’ve always loved the smell.
      I’m now wondering if Shannon had too much popcorn–like we assumed–or if she inhaled second-hand smoke. Of the pot variety. LOL.

  4. LOL, Kim! Trust a 7 year old to drag you back to real life. I hope you had a good time anyway. Are any of your posse coming with you to Atlanta?


    1. Hell to the NO, Gail! My kids will be staying behind with their dad. I wouldn’t inflict that kind of pain on my friends. See you in less than a week!

  5. First – do not talk to me about turning 44 (seriously, if my age is the new 40, you’re barely 21, okay!)…but yeah, concerts, I recently saw New Edition (oh, not so new…). Never saw them when I was younger – concerts scared me after a few crazy summer nights in the 80s:)…anyway. Loved your post. And can’t wait to see you next week in Atlanta!

    1. Denny! I can’t IMAGINE anything scaring you. You kinda scare ME! I’ve always loved your larger-than-life stories, so I’m a little bit curious as to those crazy summer nights in the 80s. We’ll definitely have to talk in Atlanta! See you soon, my crazy friend.

    1. I know, right? As a mom of five yourself, I’m sure you’ve had plenty of the same experiences. See you soon! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Double L, I, J! Girlfriend!!! Thanks for stopping by. I can’t believe you outed yourself that you were part of the mysterious couple. I kept your name anonymous so you wouldn’t be so embarrassed. LOL. But, NOTHING embarrasses you! Oh, the stories you could tell! Shhhhhhh.

  6. Kim! I can’t believe we were there at the same Heart concert a couple weeks ago! It’s been a dream of mine to attend a concert with a mermaid sister and now it has finally happened, sort of 😉 Happy almost birthday young lady. xoxo

    1. Carlene,
      I can’t believe we were both there. I wish I had known. I could have used some good luck with the whole vomiting thing. LOL. Next time we’ll have to actually plan it. The concert, not the vomiting.

  7. OMGosh, that post just made me laugh. I am preparing to take my 12yo daughter to her very first concert at the local fair to see HUnter Hayes (OK, so I have only ever seen performances at my local fair. Yes at 41 I have never been to a real live concert) I sure hope my experience is a little different from yours…*G*

    1. Here’s hoping your daughter refrains from eating too much popcorn. I’ve never been to a local fair. Do they have funnel cakes??? Those are my big weakness. BIG. B-I-G. Oh my God, my mouth is watering…oooooh….with powdered sugar….

  8. Oh poor Shannon! I can totally sympathize because my kids are total pukers, too. I have been puked on more times than I can count. Still sounds like you had a blast, though! I loved reading about the contrast between the two concerts. And don’t worry – I’ll make sure you don’t eat too much popcorn next week. Ha ha. 🙂

    1. I’m dieting, so make sure you keep all popcorn away from me. I wish I had a dime for how many times I’ve been puked on. With Kaitlin alone, I could buy a jet. That girl had reflux for the first nine months of her life.

  9. Love it! And you have discovered the key to surviving motherhood and all of its vomit-covered moments– laugh about it! Sounds like you have the right husband, too. Love me some Magic Man. Wish I’d been there (at either show). See you next week!!

    1. You really do have to laugh, because there’s nothing you can do about some of it. At least my husband has a great sense of humor, and we do laugh about a lot. Can’t wait to see you, Amy!!!! That’s a lot of exclamation points, but I’m THAT excited!

    1. That’s a great little motto you have there, Nan. I’ll use it. LOL. Hopefully I won’t need it next week. 🙂 Talk about young at heart! You’re just a wee babe, Nan!

  10. What a marvelous experience, Kim! Getting to see that fabulous band from BOTH sides of your life journey: young and (gulp) not so young. For my part, I’ve seen just two concerts with my children: first, when my son was 16, I insisted we see Jason Mraz at a local college. So sweet of him so say okay, but Dad was out of town. Had a great time, got to see Tristan Prettyman at the top of her career and had lots of fun witth the youn’un – and he didnt throw up.

    And, a year or so later, I got to bring my college-aged daughter to a Elvis Costello concert. Dear Dad had the stomach flu, and I wasn’t going to miss the concert or let the ticket go to waste. He was touring with Emmylou Harris. Hands down, that is my favorite concert EVER. His backlist is so large now, he played for at least three hours. I’ve never ever ever had a better time at a concert.

    Just so you know, SHE is the one who gets carsick. And she didn’t throw up either!

    So, Kim, you have other happy times with your kids in your future. Where everyone had a good time, nobody falls asleep and no one gets sick. Enjoy!

    1. Susan,
      I plan on seeing HEART one more time. I want to shuffle into the concert arena with my walker and watch Ann belting out Barracuda in her wheelchair while Nancy tries to balance her guitar on her lap in a matching wheelchair. Then I’ll be happy. Until my grandkid pukes on me.

  11. Adorable post, Kim! Just like you 😉 I think the lesson here is no one should over-indulge the ole popcorn at Nationals.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. Keep away the popcorn. I don’t want to see nary a kernel at your luau. Not one! 🙂

  12. Sweet post,Kim! Sorry to hear your daughter was ill at the concert but love the comment “many people have puked at their first concert” followed by “they probably had too much popcorn, too.”

    Happy birthday! My birthday present to you is to admit that I’m one year older than you! You are just a young’n in my books 🙂

  13. My husband and I went to a Stones concert in the 90s as well. I couldn’t believe how much energy Mick Jagger still had then–and now! I want whatever he’s on! And pronto!
    My husband is a great guy. As is yours, Diana. We mermaids are lucky in love…

  14. Jacqui! How is possible that you’re older than 30???? That’s ridiculous. I don’t know your agenda here, missy, but I’m not believing you! 🙂

  15. Im guessing she threw up because of the second hand weed. She has had that amount of popcorn before, but maybe well never know. 😛

    1. OMG! You’re so funny, Megan! Maybe that’s true. But rolling down the hill and jumping around with a full stomach of popcorn still could be the reason.

Comments are closed.