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Jammin’ with the Jonas Brothers

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My dear friend Kim is the world’s best mom. I am the world’s second best.


Why does Kim beat me for top honors? Because when tickets for the summer’s hottest concert—the Jonas Brothers at Nissan Pavilion, for those of you lucky ducks who don’t have the words to “Burnin’ Up” burned into your brain—went on sale, she didn’t hesitate to buy a bunch. Why am I happy to be, quite literally, second banana in this rockin’ produce department? Because when Kim wound up with two extra tickets, I didn’t stop and think and wait and wonder (like I did the first time). I offered her double on the spot (she didn’t take it), and called it a day.


Or, to be accurate, I called it a date. With my older son, Casey.


See, both my sons are learning to play electric guitar and every afternoon they jack up their amps and jam with the Jonas’s. It’s an interesting sound, rather akin to the noise a cat might make if you bathed it in a blender. But at least they’re practicing. And I’m certain at some point they’ll get good and then my husband will stop running through the house, palms pressed to his ears, screaming, “Susan, what is that sound?”


The fact that there were only two tickets wasn’t too troublesome. Why? Because the day of the concert was also the first day of my younger son’s four day stay at shooting camp. Hallelujah for the nice folks at 4-H! Wonderful of them to coordinate with the people at the Nissan Pavilion, don’t you think? Yes, at the very moment my little guy would be taking target practice, Casey and I would be taking the opportunity to stock up on Jonas Brothers tee shirts. And CDs. And posters of Kevin, Nick, and Joe in all manner of “aren’t we cool?” and “come hither” poses, and one of a perky little brunette with a whole Punky Brewster-meets-Debbie Gibson thing going on named Demi Lovato.


Who? I asked my son.


Their opening act, mom.


Demi Moore?


Demi Lovato, mom. From Camp Rock. C’mon, mom. Keep up.


I try to stay current. Really I do. But sometimes I miss the boat. I mean the band. Or at least their opening act.


In any case, on the morning of the concert, a few crucial details had to be dealt with. First, I needed to decide what we’d bring. A blanket, two pairs of binoculars (Hey, seeing from lawn seats is tough, but at least we’d be breathing the same air as the cutest boys from Jersey since Bon Jovi.), and money to feed my eternally hungry escort. (Note to self: never again permit perpetual eating machine to “help” shop supermarket snack aisle. A hundred bucks on Tostitos, Cheese-Its, and Chips Ahoy is a shameful waste of money. Particularly since most of it was consumed before it went in the cart.) 


Then I had to decide what to wear. I threw open my closet and looked at my clothes. The last time I went to a concert was before I had kids. Was my Jackson Browne at the Beacon Theater belly shirt appropriate? Or maybe my Bob Seger at Madison Square Garden sweatshirt? I could wear both; it might get chilly. Or better yet, something Springsteen. My “No Nukes” tank top would be perfect.


I reached in and started rifling. Then rifling turned to ransacking. They were here the last time I looked! But when had I last looked? 1989? 1990? I had the gnawing sense that my cute Jackson Browne top had long ago been demoted to dust rag duty (a memory so painful, I practically need an epidural to endure it), and my Seger and Springsteen stuff had most likely met a similar fate.


“Casey!” I shouted. “We can’t go.” My six-foot-five heartbreaker was across the hall in a heartbeat. (It’s astonishing how fast kids can move when chores are not involved.) “Why not?” “I have nothing to wear,” I whined. He looked at the pile of clothes at my feet, and on the bed, and draped over the chair. And he started to laugh. “Mom, we can’t go because I’m grounding you for this room.” “I know, I know,” I replied, embarrassed at behaving like a child in front of my suddenly very mature first born child. “All this stuff and no concert tee shirts!”


He just looked at me and pulled at his shirt, his New York Giants shirt. “Mom,” he said quietly, “I don’t have a concert tee shirt to wear, either. This is MY first concert.”


Earth to Susan. It might have been all about you and your “No Nukes” tank top twenty-five years ago, but once the plus sign turned pink, that show closed forever. Now it’s all about Madden ’09, and iPhones, and Cloverfield 2, and some singer named Avril Lavigne, whose first name I’m totally convinced is a typo, and of course Kevin, Nick, and Joe. Snap out of it, woman, and get your kid to the concert!  


He was still standing there, looking at me. “Mom,” he prodded, “you’re being ridiculous. We gotta get going.” No, no, I thought. I am not being ridiculous. I am getting dressed and I am taking my son to see the Jonas Brothers, to experience the magic of live, loud music (and to begin his descent, like his mother and father before him, into rock ‘n roll induced deafness). And to purchase his first shamefully overpriced concert tee shirt.


I am not being ridiculous. I am being the world’s second best mom. And I’m buying myself a little something to celebrate that fact when I get there. After all, I appear to be out.

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