Sharing your passions with your kids doesn’t always turn out how you expect it will
“So,” I said, glancing into the rearview mirror, flashing an expectant grin at my son. “What did you tell the kids at day camp?”
I was hoping Liam had regaled his fellow campers with tales of his rock and roll adventure from the night before. I was hoping he had gushed about the life-altering magic of an incendiary three-hour Green Day concert jam-packed with the components of every 10-year-old boy’s dream — loud music, constant explosions and a frenetic, juvenile band that routinely sprayed the crowd with water, confetti, t-shirts and toilet paper. Liam’s older sister helpfully answered my question.
“He told them Billie Joe swore at a five-year-old,” Moira said, collapsing into giggles.
In a flash of pyrotechnics, up went my father-of-the-year award. In truth, Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day and a man who sprinkles an f-bomb into most sentences, did swear while speaking TO a five-year-old he brought up on stage. He did not swear AT him. I know, it’s bad. I had warned Liam all summer about the possibility for inappropriate language.
It wasn’t the memory I was hoping to build when I took each of my children — Erin, 8, Liam and Moira, 11 — to their first concerts in the summer of 2010. But then, the magic of rock and roll sometimes is its unpredictability. For Moira, unpredictability knocked about six songs into Sheryl Crow’s concert when surprise guest Kid Rock sauntered onstage in all his ragged glory to sing his hit duet “Picture” with Crow.
“I was really excited until Kid Rock came up and then I was scared because he is fairly creepy,” Moira said later, eyes wide at the memory. Hey, I’m thrilled she’s unlikely to pick a Kid Rock type for her first boyfriend, but I can’t help feeling slightly miffed it’s her dominant memory from a place that figures so prominently in my memories.