You work nine to five and somehow you survive till the night.
, Night, Born to Run (1975)
I spent Monday at work simply surviving until nightfall. Not because I was having a bad day. (It was filled with phone calls and meetings but was far from fraught.) Not because I needed to regain some balance after our Halloween weekend mayhem. And not because I wanted to connect with my kids.
No, I couldn't wait to call it a day because I had floor tickets for Bruce that night. Bruce! Bruce Springsteen! (Do I really need to hyperlink to his bio?) The Boss!
Since I've achieved married with children status, I've only rarely gone to concerts - child-oriented gigs excluded. And most of those have been classical or jazz. Somehow, in the mix of events we deem "babysitter-worthy," rock concerts just haven't rated. But when my boss bought Springsteen tickets for his Spanish wife, I knew I just had to go see Bruce and the E Street Band this time. (After all, Bruce just turned 60 in September!) My husband wasn't wild about going, but a good Jersey Girl-friend was.
Beforehand, I thought that I would relive memories of my first Springsteen concert more than 20 years ago. And I did - a little bit.
But Monday night's concert wound up being more about now than then.
My fellow concert-goers included a mom from my son's child care center, three moms from my daughter's religious school class, and more than a few current and former co-workers. Not to mention my ob-gyn. And my rabbi. Really! (And that's just the people I saw or heard from.)
And the mom in me was moved when Bruce pulled a ten-year-old (or so) boy onto the stage and handed him the mike for the Waitin' For A Sunny Day chorus. My friend and I wished we had brought along our six-year-olds. Then we thought better of it. Four hours of standing?
The absolute high point of the concert, for me, though, had nothing to do with parenting, work, or any other everyday event. It came close to the beginning when Bruce leapt into the Hungry Heart. Talk about trust! (I wasn't close enough to pass him around so I didn't have to face the Purell or not-to-Purell dilemma.)
No wait, the best moment was Bruce's recession-ready version of the much-covered Civil War classic, Hard Times Shall Come Again No More. Together with his inspirational plea, on behalf of DC Central Kitchen, to combat homelessness and hunger here in the Nation's Capitol.
Or was the best part not a moment but the full band's passionate performance of the entire Born to Run album?
One moment that really struck me, though, was when I realized that I was actually wondering about bedtime, which had coincided with the opening chords of the concert. Ugh! I was definitely a 40-something mom, not a 20-something girl. Of course, dancing, singing, waving, and screaming - for nearly three hours - ultimately banished bedtime thoughts.
And by the end, the magic in the night pulled me out of my life and transported me elsewhere. Someplace emotional and inspirational. Someplace revelatory and celebratory. I left the concert feeling like I had somehow shed my ordinary working mom self.
At least until my three-year-old son woke me up at 6:15 a.m. yesterday morning. I gave him a kiss and resumed my regular workaday routine.
It's the working, the working, just the working life.
Bruce Springsteen, Factory, Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
Photo courtesy of massay on flickr.com.