Monday, August 3, 2015

In A State

I've said it before. My teenage daughter is a groupie. It's official.

Actually, it's been official for quite some time.

She started going to concerts a couple of years ago. Mostly, she goes to hear bands that I've never heard of at venues I've never been to. In fact, when one of her bands makes it big (like Imagine Dragons did after they were covered on Glee — oh, and won a Grammy — or like Walk the Moon has with "Shut Up and Dance With Me"), it irritates her to no end. Suddenly ticket prices soar; suddenly it's harder to get autographs, drumsticks, playlists and selfies; suddenly her bands play at 21 and up clubs where she can't go.

The horror!

Recently, the concerts have become bigger — I'm sure she would argue "better" — experiences. For example, we had the all-day vigil outside the House of Blues; and our mother-daughter evening in Boston. Now, she's crossing state lines.

This past weekend, my daughter and a bestie went down to Providence, Rhode Island to see a band at some waterfront venue somewhere. This concerned me. I've pretty much, almost, sort of gotten over my fear of her driving. But, going to and from her stable is one thing. Driving on highways to another state is ... well ... another.

Luckily, my husband pointed out that driving to Providence on a Friday in the summer would not be a very good idea. You see, in between Boston and Providence is this peninsula called Cape Cod (you may have heard of it). The highway I was so afraid of would be a parking lot, and they would get there at about half past never. 

Hooray for public transportation!

The girls left our town later than they had planned (but earlier than they would have if I had insisted that my daughter go change into a different tank top that didn't showcase her bra quite so much). They drove to the nearest T station, got on a train to Boston, and then took the commuter rail down to Providence. By now, my daughter knows that frequent texts and a selfie or two go a long way toward calming my nerves. She sent a picture of the two of them enjoying a particularly nutritious South Station breakfast: pretzel bites.

By all accounts (and a handful of text messages), their day in Providence was great fun. They found "the cool neighborhood" with its own Urban Outfitters. They got elaborate henna tattoos on their hands. And they arrived at the concert venue two hours early so they could snag and save front row seats. The last train back to Boston was at 10:40 pm and they were to be on it. No excuses, no kidding. They had to catch that train on pain of death. (Really. If my husband or I had to drive two hours to rescue them, heads were definitely going to roll.)

Despite the looming curfew, they had a wonderful time. They met the band and got autographed CDs. And, they made the train. They were home by about 1:00 am. I was already asleep upstairs. My husband was asleep with the puppy on the couch.

As is my way these days, I reminded myself that I was fairly autonomous at my daughter's age. In fact, I was younger than she is when I went to visit colleges. A high school classmate and I took Amtrak from New York to Boston, and stayed with an older girl from our school in Harvard Square. I took the bus to Tufts, and toured the campus by myself, hitting all the important things — the arena theatre, a dining hall, a dorm, the library — then took the bus back. On the next and last day of my visit, I went into Boston, where I fell in love with Beacon Hill and Faneuil Hall and the Charles River and the North End. I applied to Tufts early decision and didn't look back.

I realized a while ago that my daughter's life is more exciting than mine these days. While she was in a state of bliss in, oddly enough, the state of Rhode Island, I realized that I might also be in a state. 

A state of agitation. 

A state of anxiety. 

A state of emergency.

Then I decided that it would be better for all involved if I took a little trip to the state of acceptance. It was a much better place to be.

I just wish they had henna tattoos there.

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