about last night at the john mayer concert.
Practically overnight, well, say three and a half years, date nights have become rare. Date nights in the middle of the week, phew, forgetaboutit.
But John Mayer was in town and no Winter Weather Advisory was going to hold us back.
I’ve mentioned this over the years. We listen to John Mayer in our house. His songs were crib music for Kaeden. And his live performances helped kicked the crap out of his colic-y-ness. So it has sort of a special place in our family.
Last night was very special. And I learned a few things.
Life is about 13-minute guitar solos and long, extended outros. It’s a reminder to do something different. There were several times during his concert where a three-minute, twenty-second studio song turns into a fourteen-minute extension of soul. And the entire crowd goes through the thisisamazing-wowthisisgettingawkwardbecausehejustkeepsgoing-howarehisfingersnotbroken thought process. We think and we talk about being special, about being unique but we don’t want to push through and find that place.
Getting a three-year old ready for school and coordinating a newborn’s lack of routine can be challenging. But it’s the unexpected sweet moments, the boxes of cereal in the car, the deviations from norm that make life, well, life.
We aren’t even scratching the scratch of the scratch with most things in life. Be the couple that slow dances in the aisles and not even with rhythm. It might stir weird looks but do it anyway, the rest of us just wish we had the guts. Play the electric mandolin, play the guitar behind your back, play whatever song makes you happy for as long as you want because whotheheck cares. We paid for it anyway.
It’s the kids. It’s the kids. It was halfway through the concert. He was singing maybe the best song on the album and I opened my phone to take a picture. A photo of Harper from earlier in the day popped up. Then a video of Kaeden playing drums in front of a sleeping Harper. Then a photo of Kaeden. In the background, John sang “and I’m waiting on the day/when these words are in stone/when the kids are all grown/and we go dancing.”
Despite my efforts, our children will not stop growing. And by happenstance, we won’t stop getting older. Our kids sometimes can be a handful and I occasionally flash-forward to a time when it’s just us as husband and wife. We spend so much of our time trying to talk Kaeden out of drinking too much chocolate milk, coax him into and then out of the bathtub and trying to swoon Harper into sleeping so we can get some quiet Mommy and Daddy time.
A blogger I read once wrote, “It’s harder than hard to appreciate madness when it’s in front of you.” My favorite musician was singing one of my favorite songs directly in front of me and the only thing I could look at was a pixelated selfie of our little family of four. They will be grown soon enough. Probably sooner than I think. And Jess and I will go dancing. But this is such a happy time right now. And it took leaving them for a few hours and coming back to know. Point taken.
Sometimes the reason why you go is not the reason why you go. I went for the music. I wasn’t even 21 yet, seven months from it actually. And it was my first John Mayer concert with my future wife. We sang along, I watched the other couples in the audience to see how it’s done and we held hands in that way only college kids with no jobs, no worries and mounds of student loans piling up can.
That night for the first time, the music quieted around us and it became about something else.
Three years later, we went again. This time as a married couple with a baby on the way.
And last night, we went out again, a mom and dad one month removed from our second child being born and rocking our world again.
Each concert something happens. Something suggests there’s more to it than music. It’s the special moments. Somehow, by coexisting with another in the place with the same shared passion, you learn something about each other you never knew.
Last night I saw thousands of people sing along, make out and hold hands. I don’t know why each person was there, what their stories were or if they actually knew every single word to every song.
I can only say that, for me, it’s not about the music. It’s about the girl. And if I had to do it over, the next time I would find her earlier so I could love her longer.
who are these people / 2007
about to be family of three / 2010
two kids and a weeknight concert / 2013