On Sunday, I became that mother.
That completely uncool one who was freaking out and hovering and lecturing and advising four kids before they went to a music festival. I’ve held on to my cool status for quite a while but it’s gone now. Forever I think.
About six or so weeks ago when I was gasbagging to my dearest friend in Honkers, my call was rudely interrupted by Miss13, in a complete state of hysteria, about some under 17’s music festival. Everyone was going and tickets were going to sell out that very minute. I’m just going to put it out there that there’s nothing so unattractive as a hysterical teenage girl.
Truth be told I just wanted to finish my conversation in peace, happened to have my iPad in front of me, loaded up the site, it looked harmless, so as I said, in the name of peace and quiet, I said yes and shooed her on her way. My daughter knows when to pick her moment clearly.
The minute I put the phone down I knew a terrible mistake had been made. It’s like that icy cold moment when you realise that in no universe is the car careening towards you going to miss smashing into your stationery vehicle (yes, that actually happened).
Now in no way is this a reflection on the good people organising GoodLife or anyone going or performing. It’s more a reflection on the maturity and common sense that is non-existent amongst anyone 13 years old or so. And the fact that apparently they were expecting approximately 30,000 teenagers to walk through their gates yesterday. I can barely control two for a sleepover. 30,000 in one place does not seem like a good idea to me.
I became progressively more stressed as the time approached – even wandering down to a servo over the road from the venue on Saturday morning to assess the scene – there was already an extensive police presence (comforting slightly) and a large amount of tattooed roadies buying coke and chocolate (not so comforting).
As I was explaining in my lecture at 12pm on Sunday afternoon to four very disinterested teenagers (there was much eye-rolling which was summarily ignored) – my worry comes from experience with these things – things they are unable comprehend, imagine or understand. It’s sometimes how you react in a situation that can change the game. Knowing that “how” is something that comes with age and experience. Of which I promise you, they have neither.
“Be good, be safe, be sensible and be careful. If something’s going west – approach a policeman before a security guard if possible. Always know where your nearest safety point is and try and stay together. Do not take a drink from anyone. And yes, it’s safe to drink from the bubbler”. I feel like a complete loser even re-typing these words.
The negotiated pick up time was an hour and a half before the concert ended – I’m not dumb enough to try and find her in the dark with 30,000 crazed kids (oh yes, I mentioned the 30,000 already – traumatised much?)
I was greeted by a dusty, dirty but very happy Miss13 complete with the requisite armbands that she will no doubt wear for 2 weeks – earned her stripes she did.
I never thought I would be that mother. I feel old, very old. And above all else I want my cool status reinstated.
I guess we learn along the way. I remember something a friend with three daughters told me once. The first answer to any question is no. At least you have room to negotiate thereafter.
Love and light