Daughters and Springsteen

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Time Flies….

I brought my daughter to college ten days ago. She is our last with two older brothers.It is different with the last, or maybe it’s because she is a girl. Or maybe it’s me.

On August 18th , 2012 we went to a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert. Her first Bruce concert was when she was nine. We were in the right place at the right time, with our lottery seats, a great number and a railing position in the Pit. I am the longest fan in our family and chose the railing spot right in front of Clarence. It was the best.

We went to the August concert as a family, to celebrate the beginning of her freshman year at college. Only two tickets were lottery seats. My husband and son were kind enough to opt out of Pit seats for tailgating. Our numbers were lucky with choice spots and my daughter wanted front and center.

The concert was amazing even in comparison to our other Springsteen events. My daughter’s highlight was being part of Bruce’s goofy interactions with his fans. With him pointing at her, and seeing his own intrinsic enjoyment of being able to give so much fun back to his fans. We were the lucky ones.  We shared intimacy with the man himself, despite the other 65,000 others in the arena. At one point, when Bruce lofted into the stands, my daughter realized we weren’t the only ones there.  My personal moment that night was the opportunity to share seven hours with my daughter, for the last time, when it would be different. And it was different this time, letting go.

My daughter loves school, her roommate, college life, and her teachers. I am back to work in a job I love working with kids. We feel fortunate to have our family. I appreciate every day. And I will always remember her words as we walked out of the Pit that night. In wonderment, she emphatically stated that this night was her most fun ever! She wished she had known Bruce longer, that I was lucky to have been listening to his music for a lot longer. I am very lucky.

Now, I do miss my daughter. And I feel some loss. But those seven hours! The four hours of standing in line, waiting, and the three hours of the most fun; feeling like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band were there for just us, to make sure we had so much fun, that Letting go of Daughters is a lot easier after a Springsteen concert.

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Thanks Dave

Five or six years ago, I heard Dave Marsh, writer, E-Street radio, sharing how he writes a letter to his daughter every year since he lost her from bone cancer. I read one of his letters and this inspired me to write to my own children. Although I am fortunate to have three healthy grown children, I lose a piece of them every year as they grow on to adulthood.

Maybe by sharing a few precious thoughts with them, it will keep  memories alive and the spirit strong and vibrant within.

Thunder Road

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When I wrote Riley’s post, she initially thought it sad.  But I didn’t mean it to be, and then she got it. So don’t think this is a sad post. Just a reminder if you ever need one that I love you!

Thunder Road. The screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves…. The first note on the harmonica is visceral and I always think of you.

There are three other events that also have the same visceral effect.

  1. You were five or six and Dad took you shopping for a gift for me.  You came back with a large clunky coper bracelet that said, “MOM”. It didn’t fit. It really wasn’t me and my fist thought was, “How could your father put me in this position?” You read my emotions, wiped away your tears.
  2. You were nine or ten. We were walking by Cranney’s (not sure why I remember the location). Steven was going through adolescence and difficult for all of us, although typical for all adolescents.  You asked me why I put up with it. I passed it off to growin’ up and you told me you would never, ever treat me like that when you went through adolescence.
  3. You were 18.  We were front, center at a Springsteen concert in NJ then again at Gillette. I was pretty sick at the time but those concerts were the best. I think of those times so frequently. Probably more so these days.

Trevor, you were always a little different than your peers. Thoughtful, sensitive caring. I used to worry that you were too much so, that you wouldn’t be selfish enough to have fun. I knew the goodbye to your youth would be difficult for me.

But you made it. And I couldn’t be prouder.  I still worry, at times that you don’t always live for the moment. You like to look ahead And it’s ok to look ahead and look behind but you can’t live in the future or the past. You can only have what you have in the present and remember to appreciate what you have in this given moment.  Because in five minutes or even one minute, things could be very different.  You don’t want regrets.

I learned this the hard way when I was about your age. But you know the story of my regret. My decision to not see Bruce when he was at Lundholm and I was a freshman at UNH. I regret not going. I wish I had those couple of hours to spend with my brother at a Springsteen concert.

I don’t want you to feel obligated to see me as you grow. I don’t want you to feel like I do with my parents.It will only lead to guilt and sadness.

You have Lauren and we love her. Never take her for granted or look ahead or behind.Be happy.

I have ended most of our partings with “Have fun!” So do this. Have fun and find joy in everything you can.

When you think of me, think back to Bruce in 2008 and how much it meant. I know the memory of this has faded for you. The magic has probably gone. I am hoping we can revisit the magic at some point if he ever decides to tour again in the US:)

Thanks Trevor for being you. Be kind, avoid regrets and have fun.