Two years ago, I embraced my inner-tween and went to see Taylor Swift with two of my gal friends on the Washington, D.C. stop of T. Swift’s Speak Now Tour. My friend P was nursing a broken heart at the time, and I was single but longing to meet my Mr. Right. As I watched the tears stream down P’s face during T. Swift’s heart-wrenching rendition of “Back to December,” I remember thinking,
That’s it. The next time I see Taylor Swift, I want to be in the arms of my soulmate.
Naturally, when T. Swift tickets went on sale last December for her Seattle stop on her Red Tour, I was more than a little excited. It had been over a year since I went to the last Taylor Swift concert, and not only was I ready to see her in concert again, but I was lucky enough to have met “the one” during that timeframe. Perfect!, I thought to myself as thoughts of RM and me smooching during “Love Story” swirled about in my head.
That fairytale came crashing down when RM decided to purchase not two tickets but three. His reasoning? “Well, I thought we could just sell the third ticket… or maybe, we could take #1?” (#1 is what I’ll call RM’s oldest.) Since we were relatively early on in our relationship, I didn’t quite feel comfortable enough to tell RM that I would actually prefer it just be the two of us. (It’s been a challenge and delicate balance for me to learn when to speak up for my needs and when to put the kids/family time first. A continuous learning process as a future stepmom!)
After nine months of many moments of RM’s youngest (#3), belting out many a Taylor Swift song, RM and I had a talk and thought that perhaps it made more sense for me to take both girls to the concert. After all, #3 seemed even more excited than #1.
Wait a minute, I thought to myself. This was supposed to be a romantic night of smooching my sweetie during the sweet melodies of T. Swift and screaming tweens. I mean, I saw the logic—#3 was excited, and was it really a good idea to take #1 with RM and me when she seemed to be the one who was most competitive with me for RM’s attention? Needless to say, despite the logic, I was having some difficulty reining in my Green Monster.
Then it came. Saturday, 31 August 2013. Concert day. I sucked it up, told my Green Monster that she wasn’t invited—there were only three tickets afterall—and put on a happy face, ready to take the girls to their first concert. My attitude quickly changed when we arrived at one of our favorite restaurants in Tacoma, called BJ’s, and looked around to see the restaurant filled with moms and their pint-sized daughters in cowboy boots. There was no denying it—most of the patrons of BJ’s that night were headed to the same place we were.
When T. Swift took the stage, #1 looked at me with a big smile and gave me a thumbs up. #3 stood on the seat next to me with her arm around me, singing “22” as loud as she could, and then spent most of the remainder of the night sleeping on my shoulder as I held her and swayed to the music. The mom to the right of me, also holding her sleeping 7-year-old, nodded to me in the way that I can only imagine moms nod to each other. I felt solidarity with her, as if I had gained admittance into the “mom club.” Even though I’m not technically the girls’ mom, or even their stepmom yet, that night I sure felt like I was. And it felt good.
Sometimes we have our heart set on something we think we want, and if we’re not willing to adapt and rein in that ugly Green Monster, we might miss out on something that is so much better. I’ve gotten to listen to the girls’ gush over how much fun their first concert was over the past two days, and I imagine this is something that we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives.