It was twelve years ago today….or rather…last night…that I stood in a very long line with my oldest daughter, who was seven at the time. We were waiting to purchase our copies of Astronaut, and hoping to get wristbands for a meet and greet a few days later.
If I remember correctly, I had taken my daughter out of school early in order to drive up to Hollywood and wait in the line. I remember the entire process being a pain because Heather was on a competition dance team at the time, and it was all cutting into her dance classes. I had no fear of taking her out of school, but dance class? Oh my.
By the time we had gotten to Hollywood, the line was incredibly long. We had several hours to wait because the album didn’t go on sale until midnight. I wasn’t sure we’d even get a copy, much less wristbands. As we stood in line talking with a new friend, trying to convince ourselves that we would not come away empty-handed, I silently reminded myself that it didn’t matter if I ever met the band, and that the important thing was that I was there with Heather, sharing a very important, yet pretty secret (at the time) part of myself with her.
Given her age at the time, I know she got bored and tired as we stood there, but she also learned a lot about her mom. I could see her widen her eyes with wonder as people would talk about their experiences seeing the band, and she would watch how I would react when people would talk about meeting band members. She listened carefully when I would reminisce over my memories from junior high school, or my first concert. I think she could see just how much the band meant to me—and that wasn’t something I’d ever really talked much about at home.
I’d just gotten home about a week or so earlier from my first convention in New Orleans. Duran Duran was a fairly new subject in our house—prior to the convention planning, I really didn’t bring them up often. I was a mom, busy with kids and activities. My outside interests didn’t really come up much. For my kids, and even Walt to a certain extent, the convention was the start of it all, and even then, they had no idea.
(some might say they still don’t!)
Every single year that passes, I take the time to remember that night, and naturally the one that followed later in the week. It was the first time I’d ever driven up to Hollywood just to buy an album. I felt like such a bad parent for being bold enough to sign Heather out of school a little early (I’m a rules follower!), but something in me just clicked. I wanted her there with me. I wanted to show her that being a fan, even as a mom, was still OK.
As the line finally started to snake in and out of the aisles of Virgin Records Megastore (unfortunately it too is gone now), Heather got excited. The store had the album playing, there were videos (I think it was Sunrise) playing on the monitors, and the atmosphere was as celebratory as possible. After all, this was the first album from the Fab Five in twenty-five years! With every step closer to the cash register, I could feel my excitement growing ten fold. I got to the point where I could hardly stand still, because I knew that I was going to get Astronaut on vinyl, and wristbands were going to be in the bag with it!
Heather and I came away victorious that night, but not just because of the music or the wristbands. It was the first time that I can remember where I felt like I could actually talk to her. That doesn’t mean we were best friends after that. She was seven and I was a parent, but something about that night gave her a little more insight into who I was as a person. Just in the same way that spending so much time with her training in dance has given me a lot of insight into who she has become as an adult. We’ve been close ever since, and she is still one of the first people I will talk to about my Duran Duran adventures. She reads the blog, follows us on Twitter and sees how others react. I think it can be tough sometimes to parent and not have some regret over things that were said and done, or even things that weren’t said or done. I have zero regrets for sharing that time with her.
It’s a good memory to reflect upon.