My older daughter recently asked me if she and her friends could go to a concert at a local venue. The request came through a text, and the ticket price seemed reasonable, so, I said, "yes."
Then, like any good journalist, I decided to do a little research, and I wasn’t thrilled with the music or my perceptions about the venue. I also started a conversation with the other mothers so that we could be on the same page. I am of the opinion that more information is always better, especially when it comes to your children.
“You’re ruining everything,” my daughter told me on more than occasion in the week leading up to the event.
I spoke to the communications director at the venue about the expected age of the crowd, and how they would handle alcohol sales with such a high number of teens attending. I also spoke to people in security about how they would be staffed and what kinds of things they would be looking for. In addition, I spoke to friends who had attended concerts there previously about their experiences with the crowd and security. And finally, I looked at the police calls to the venue in the past year, what they were for, and which ones resulted in actual cases being filed and arrests being made.
“Mom, the fact that you even have that information on your phone is crazy,” my daughter said when I showed her the data I had amassed.
OK, so, maybe I went overboard. In the end, after we worked out transportation among the parents, we decided to let them go.
I still don’t like or understand the lyrics, and I probably never will, any more than my parents did when I played my music in the 1980's. But I am confident that the venue is as secure as any public space with a large number of people can be, that the girls’ have good heads on their shoulders, and that they can get there and get home safely.
Call me crazy, call me whatever you want … or just call me Mom.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.