THE BONDING EXPERIENCE
You know, I used to think that “bonding” with your kids was just something that came naturally for whatever reason. I mean, I didn’t think that it was something you would need to work at, just that it was something that just “happened” between a parent and a child.
I couldn’t have been more off base. Bonding with an infant child is NOT the same as bonding with a teenage child or even a pre-teen child. They are two TOTALLY different things, and something that parents should never take for granted.
I bonded with all of my children when they were infants. I know that. I “thought” I had bonded with my daughter as well but um, no. Didn’t happen. So I was bound and determined to find a way to bond with each of my boys so that what happened with my daughter does NOT happen with them as well.
So I’ve started listening to their conversations with their friends, listening to their conversations with each other, and tried to “tune in” on what it is that they like as far as their tastes in clothing, music, food, events, things that they like to do. I am trying to find some common ground with them – things that we can laugh about together, do together, movies that all of us will enjoy – things like that. I figure, if there is a sure fire way to be able to bond with them, it is going to be doing something that they enjoy doing and that they would get a kick out of me joining them and doing as well.
EPIC CONCERT TIME
I was so extremely blessed to be able to have that opportunity with J. this past Sunday, May 5th. It was an awesome experience that we shared together, one that we will not ever forget, and it was just the two of us. Double-score points for Mom for not having to split my time and attention between J. and T. It was simply our time to bond with each other without having any distractions or annoying yabbering in our ears lol!
J. and I attended the Asking Alexandria concert at The National on Sunday, May 5th. I have three wonderful people to thank for making a dream a reality as well – Pam, Lesley and Danielle. Without their assistance, none of this fun would have been possible and J. and I wouldn’t be as close as we are now. So a huge shout out and thank you to all three of these wonderful ladies for their love and support. We love you guys!!
Now, being a mom of a teenage son, what do you think was the first thing on my mind when I actually realized that the dream was alive and we would be attending this concert? WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR. God forbid I wore something totally frumpy looking and embarrassed my kid, so about a week prior to the event, I had a mini panic-attack on Facebook and told my friends I needed some “cool attire” ideas to wear to the concert. So black t-shirt, jeans, sneakers finally won out. I added my silver bangle bracelets, two silver necklaces, and huge silver hoop earrings. Hair and nails done too (nails a blood red to match the tootsies).
The Man Thing offered to drive us there and come pick us up when the concert was over (heaven forbid his car might have gotten scratched in the parking deck lol) so off we went at about 5:45pm, bouncing in our seats with excitement the whole way there – J. to see the bands, me to see him enjoying himself!
ARRIVING AT THE NATIONAL
I was SHOCKED when we arrived. I’ve only been to The National once before, and that was to see Sevendust and Saving Abel. I do not recall the line for the concert being wrapped around the entire block, but for this concert – the line wrapped almost all the way around the entire building. I was astonished, to say the least! Once the doors opened, the lines started moving rather quickly. The under 21 guys came around and put bracelets on all of the “kids” that were in attendance, including a particular group of Asking Alexandria fans in front of me. They were all chatting away about how their was a bus on their wristbands so that they must stand for something kiddy-ish, like the Weebles.
I don’t know what made me do it, but the smart ass in me piped up and said, “Actually, the Weebles were here a few weeks ago so they may be left over wristbands from the show.” This was greeted with much laughter and an instant inclusion into their little group which I thought rather heartwarming.
When the over 21 attendant came around to give me my bracelet, one of the ‘youngsters’ said to his friend in a whisper, “Dude, I thought she was only like 18 or 19!” To which I gleefully replied, “Well thank you! You just made my night, shoot, my entire week!”
We wound our way to the front of the building and were entertained by some street performers drumming – who as usual were totally awesome. I totally tipped them for their performance. They were that good!
Then all of a sudden, we were ready to pick up our tickets and head inside and then we were THERE. Inside the National. Loved the look on J.’s face when we walked in and he got to see just how huge the place really was. We went into the general admission area (in front of the stage) and found ‘our’ spot – off to the right of the stage. I had showed J. where the smoking section was and that if I wasn’t beside him – I’d be there or in the ladies room which was behind us and to the left.
I wanted him to have his t-shirt before the event started – so off we went in search of the merchandising tables. This is the t-shirt that he picked out and the wristband as well –
I was sending Facebook updates the whole time I was at the concert Sunday, but for some reason they just would not go through, so here they are LOL!
6:52 p.m. – Concert is EPIC! (the music wasn’t exactly my cup of tea – I am a Top 40s girl – but once you are there and your inside and the band begins, it doesn’t matter what type of music is being played – you get caught up in the moment! I was jamming right along with J.)
8:01 p.m. – J. saw Cameron from AA (Asking Alexandria) sneak through the general audience area looking for Danny (Worsnop) lol!!! He got to talk to him too for a bit! Told J. not to tell anyone he saw him and start a stampede! Awesome time with my boy!
8:15 p.m. – Can NOT handle the Motionless in White strobe lights! Sitting upstairs on the bench facing away from the stage and the WALL is vibrating like its about to explode roflmao!!!
9:33 p.m. – Asking Alexandria about to take the stage. We snuck upstairs to the balcony area to have a seat and a better view of the stage … and then J. changed his mind and wanted to go back down to the floor. Kids!
10:34 p.m. – I am starving and beginning to get a killer headache lol (message sent to the man thing back home)
11:59 p.m. – J. just got an autographed guitar pick from Ben of Asking Alexandria!! (sent to Danielle – my sister)
I was having a ball watching J. have a great time. He saw plenty of people that he knew and chatted with them and just kind of soaked up the experience. He didn’t smile a whole bunch – didn’t show a lot of emotion except to bob his head and tap his feet now and again lol … but I know he was enjoying himself.
Before too long though Asking Alexandria was performing their final song and J. and I were making our way to the back of the venue so that we could leave and get outside to get a good spot up close and personal to the buses that we saw when we were coming in. J. wanted to get Danny’s autograph and the rest of the band members and be able to say a few words to them. I told him that we might need to stay awhile and wait, but that it would be totally worth it when he got to meet them!
Here are a few photos from the concert venue:
The show was over a little before 11pm, and we headed outside to wait.
AFTER THE SHOW
While we were standing outside waiting for the band to arrive (with just four other people), the security guard was really sweet and was feeding us updates on what was going on inside, that the bands were doing their “meet and greet” that they weren’t able to do prior to the show, and then they would be packing up and coming out. As the road hands were bringing out the equipment and packing up the trailers and stuff, Mr. Security brought us the signs from the bands dressing rooms, their play list printouts, things like that. All stuff that a true groupie/fan would love to get their mitts on lol!
He then surprised all of us by coming out about an hour later with autographed guitar picks for everyone from Ben of Asking Alexandria! That just totally made Jonathan’s night – seeing as he’s been playing his guitar at home every day (and getting right good at it too if I do say so myself) – so now he’s got a pick that he can use that means something special to him. A means to “channel” some Ben if you will LOL!
Then J. spotted Jona Weinhofen riding skateboard in the street! Jona was a member of Bring Me The Horizon but left to join I Killed The Prom Queen (one of the bands that opened for Asking Alexandria). From a mom’s perspective – I love Jona! He came over and talked with my son as though he’d been seeing him for years at concerts, like he was a real friend. Had an actual conversation with him too about the two bands – he scored major cool points in my book for being so “real” and “down to earth” and taking a moment to speak to J.
It started to get colder and the wind was picking up, and J. noticed that I was freezing and gave me his hoodie to wear for a bit till I got warmed up some. About that time, one of the other young men who was waiting outside with us came over.
Him: “May I ask you a question?”
Me: “Sure, what is it?”
Him: “Are you his mother?” (pointing at J.)
Me: (with caution) “Yes, I am. Why?”
Him: (addressing J.) “Dude, you had better so respect and love on your mom. That is frigging awesome that she came out to a show like this with you, that she let YOU come out to a show like this! My mom never allowed me to go to concerts like this when I was younger and she would never even think about going with me!! (addressing me) “You have got to be the coolest mom in the world! That is so awesome! I hope he shows you the love and respect you deserve!”
Me: (grinning from ear to ear) “Why thank you, thank you!”
Another epic moment for mom that just made my night!!!
Mr. Security came back over to inform us that he was locking up the building at 1am and that nobody could be inside when he did, so our wait wouldn’t be too much longer, but he couldn’t guarantee that the band would stop by and talk with us. We didn’t mind – knowing that the end was in sight was all we needed lol!
A few minutes more of waiting and they finally made an appearance outside to get on their bus! J. saw Ben come out and yelled to him. He held his hand up and said, “Give me a second to get my jacket and I’ll be right back. I’m freezing!” (said in his best English voice lol).
Danny, James and Cameron came down towards where we were standing – and J. asked each of them for their autograph. James and Cameron were happy to oblige, I’ll discuss Danny in a moment.
Ben came along and signed the dressing room sign for J. as well as posing for a photo with him:
That picture right there made this boy’s night. (I personally couldn’t stop staring at Ben while he was autographing J.’s paper. He looks so YOUNG and YUMMY. I just wanted to pinch his cheeks – cough cough!!!!)
Made my night as well that Ben, Cameron and James were sweet enough to give a loyal fan a few moments of their time – even knowing how tired they had to have been after the awesome show that they put on. That alone endeared them to me – lover of their music or not. They made my boy happy – so they got cool points in my book for putting that grin on his face!
Danny, on the other hand, lost major cool points with me Sunday night. It was the one and only disappointment of the evening, and not what I expected. I had spoken to the merchandising man and he ‘assured’ me that he would let Danny know that J. would be waiting outside to meet him after the show for just a moment. I had explained to him how this was such a big deal for J., a reward for the improvement in his grades (from failing to honor roll), and that the boy literally idolized Danny for the past three or four years.
So you can imagine how extremely PISSED THE HELL OFF I was, when Danny came out of the building with a red solo cup, gave a wave to the six of us standing at the bus, and all but shoved his way onto the bus to escape us without anything more than a hurried, “Thanks” from his mouth and that was it. J.’s face fell, and I wanted to just slam that bus door open and rip that man back off the bus and make him take a picture with J. That’s all the boy wanted – all he had been waiting for … everything else was just icing on the cake, you know? He was the main reason for us standing out in the cold for over 2 hours! Effing friggin wanker!
Unfortunately, it seems apparent in the AA fan circle that Danny is a douche who doesn’t give a crap about his fans face to face. He talks a good game on stage and in his videos, but when it comes time for one on one face time he disappears. That explained why there were not more people standing outside and waiting for his autograph. Apparently they all knew that nobody would get chit from him. (Okay, pissed off momma rant over)
All in all though – it was a fantastic night and one I will never forget! J. and I were able to bond. By the time we got home, starving and frozen to the bone, we were ready to tear apart the kitchen. I made us both something to eat and afterwards when we were cleaning up, J. came to me and said, “Mom.” I turned around and got the biggest, strongest bear hug he has EVER given me. All he said was, “Thanks so much. I love you.”
That’s all a mom could ever wish for.