My beautiful middle child turned 16 this past month, and in addition to not being prepared for having another teenage driver under my roof, I’m having to digest what it really means to have two of my three children closer to the age adults than they are to the age of children – older brother just turned 17 in January. For a mom who loves being a mom as much as I do, it means the end is near, and I can easily do the math of how little time I have left with them under one roof, under our influence, and under our control. I accept it, but I hate it.
My daughter had been hinting for months that she wanted Stevie Nicks concert tickets for her birthday, which was perfect since the concert date was two days away from her actual birthday. I allowed her to believe the concert was sold out, as I sneakily purchased tickets directly from the venue. I’m a big fan of finding any handicapped perks that are available to me that might make my life a little easier, so one of the things I’ve done for years is purchased handicapped concert tickets. Sometimes this is very easy and Ticketmaster, the monopoly of ticket boxes, is extremely accommodating. But other times they are downright ridiculously difficult, not to mention insulting, and clearly uneducated in the various forms of disabilities and handicaps. So to save myself a giant problem on the night of the event, I double checked with the venue, Viejas Arena, after Ticketmaster suddenly seemed unskilled at assisting me with my need. And it is a true need. I have extreme difficulty walking stairs, I cannot walk bleacher isles without a handrail, and honestly, I probably shouldn’t be allowed on bleachers at all since my balance is so terrible I might end up on the lap of the people in front of me creating a catastrophic avalanche of people. Viejas Arena was fantastic. They accommodated my needs and found us perfect, and simply amazing seats – so I am giving credit where credit is due. One of the difficulties in purchasing handicapped seats is that typically they are wheelchair seats – not a problem if you’re in a wheelchair, but a big problem if you’re not because the venue has to be willing to provide a chair. Additionally, most ticket boxes will only allow two handicapped tickets to be purchased: one handicapped seat and one companion seat. Don’t even get me started on that rule and the difficult choice I had to make once either to have handicapped seating and leave a child sitting by themselves, or have seating that was such a challenge for me it haunts me to this day. The incredibly patient and compassionate woman helping me must have understood that having both Mom and Dad there for this sweet 16 birthday was of extreme importance to me and she worked very hard to make this happen, even going as far as contacting Ticketmaster to make sure that the three of us would be sitting together and not be separated due to this “one companion” rule.
I realize I am the luckiest mom on earth that for my daughters 16th birthday she was willing and also wanted to go to a Stevie Nicks concert with her parents. I grew up on Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac and here I was with my teenage daughter – I pinched myself a few times.
I cannot emphasize enough how incredible and fun the night and concert was. But I also cannot emphasize enough how emotional I was the entire night over the fact that another one of my babies has hit this milestone of an age, and honestly I spent a lot of the night simply just watching her as she looked more like a woman to me than she ever has.
For the encore, Stevie couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate song for my emotional state: Landslide. I fought tears, and I could see my husband tearing up as well. The lyrics to my life were never more true than on this night, because I know, I have built my life around these three little people who aren’t so little anymore.
“Well, I’ve been afraid of changing cause I’ve built my life around you. But time makes you bolder, children get older, and I’m getting older too.”
And when I really think about it, my heart sinks and there’s a hollowness in my chest, because for that moment, life feels a lot like a landslide.
“I take my love, I take it down. I climb a mountain and I turn around, and if you see my reflection on these snow-covered hills, will the landslide bring you down?”
My reflection, my landslide…