Why is it that as mothers, we get this urge to be the “cool mom?” I don’t think I’ll ever understand it, but I’m definitely guilty. When my son was younger I would do anything to make him happy. It was my life's mission to prove how cool a mom I was. I'm not sure why I felt this need, but every year it seemed to more pressing. I was big on doing what other moms wouldn't. Hell, I worked in two different topless Las Vegas shows. I win on that credit alone every time. I am fearless in life and when it comes to my son, I am Wonder Woman. My son, Layne, is now an accomplished musician and writer. When he was young he loved music. Anytime we could take him to see a rock concert that was all ages, my husband and I would try to get tickets. He saw Joe Walsh when he was four, Chumbawumba when he was six and Everclear when he was 10.
Here’s the story of my “coolest mom” moment. We were seated in the balcony to see Everclear. Just before Everclear does their last number, the lead singer Art, announces that they will take fans onstage to dance with them during the song. I look at my son, grab him and we start running down the backstairs to get to the floor of the club. But no one was budging. Everyone was pushing to get to the front and not letting us through. Now you know how us moms are -- when it comes to our kid nothing will stand in our way. I start pushing my way through the crowd of drunk, tattooed, pierced men to get to the front and give my son his moment.
We end up getting the attention of this giant man who turns around and sees Layne and the coolest thing happened. He goes "Yo, little dude, c'mon!" And he makes a path for him to get to the front. By the time we get to the stage, Art is saying no more people please. Layne is heartbroken. All of a sudden, everyone in the front starts pointing to my son. At that moment Art nods and they lift him up and body surf him to get onstage with his favorite band. Layne still says it's one of his prized memories.
As we were leaving the show, he went to the bathroom by himself. I figured at 10 he didn't want to go into the ladies room so I always would time him. Three minutes and he's not out, I'm going in. Well he walks out talking to an older guy and I run over to him terrified. The guy says to me “I was just at the concert, he's a cool kid. When he gets old enough, I wanna give him his first tattoo." He gives me his card and walks away. And that's why I'm a cool mom.
As someone whose field of expertise is stand-up comedy, I think the need to be "cool" stems from looking at the world and pointing out it's foibles. It has always been a trait of mine to think out of the box and I have taught my son that. To this day, even at the age of 22, my son knows I will go to any length to make him happy. It cemented the strong bond we already had. Funny end to the story, we are going to see the lead singer of Everclear do a solo show at the end of November. Not sure if I can get him through the mosh pit anymore, he towers over most people at 6' 4". Maybe I'll get to crowd surf this time!