My daughter and I went to see Big Sean last Thursday night.
Yes, Big Sean. The rapper who sings Dance A$$ with Nicki Minaj. Who denigrates women with his lyrics.
My almost 14 year-old kid has a thing for rappers. And explicit music.
And that makes me uncomfortable. Sometimes.
But it opens up a lot of conversations about respecting yourself, being with people who are respectful and making it clear that your body belongs to you and nobody else. And as much as I dislike some of the lyrics? Well, I like the conversations.
When the line-up for Sunfest, our local music festival, came out, and I told her that Big Sean was playing, she started crying tears of joy. Really.
My daughter is tough. And I don’t mean like rough and tough. I mean she’s a teenage girl and she’s tough with me. Hormones, becoming more independent, hormones, trying to find her self. She’s got all of that going on.
So if there’s something that she is enthusiastic about, that she wants to share with me, her 47 year-old mother, then I’m going to do it. (I have my limits. Belly button piercing, tattoos, and nipple rings are all out. Just kidding about the nipple rings. I mean, they’re out but that’s not something she’s asked for.)
So I told her we would go. WE. Me and her. Which wasn’t even a question in her mind. She wanted to go with me. (Yea!!)
I paid extra money for us to be in the reserved area right in front of the stage. Big Sean sings a lot about drinking and smoking pot so I figured that the kind of crowd he would draw would be one that I would want my kid to be a little isolated from.
And when we got to the stage, we were really pleasantly surprised by the set-up. The Stand, as they call it, was a nice sized area blocked off from the rest of the crowd with a barricade. We could almost touch the stage. And it wasn’t very crowded. Unlike the general attendance area behind us. We even felt a little bit like VIPs.
(Did I mention that there were torrential downpours that night? I was wearing rain boots and a poncho. And looked like a drowned rat. The oldest drowned rat there. And my kid was the youngest.)
Once we were settled in to our spot, my daughter turned to me and said, “I’m so excited that I’m shaking.”
Then she asked me what that smell was and we got to have a conversation about marijuana. I was happy to have the conversation with her. And even happier that she hadn’t known what the smell was. (She’s going to high school in a few months. It’s going to come up sooner or later.)
And then Big Sean came out and started doing his thing. And though it’s not my thing, I got in to it. I raised my hands up. I pumped my fist in the air. And cringed when he put his hands down his pants and said explicit things like f#@k and pussy though not in the same sentence.
There was my kid singing along the whole time. Doing that rap body bob, back and forth.
And in an hour, it was over. Relatively painless for me. Heavenly for her.
We stopped on the way home to get a take-out pizza. And came back to the house to sit in the den, have a late dinner and look through the pictures and the videos from the night. She went to bed bubbling over about how this was the greatest night of her life.
And how much she loves me. And thank you mommy for taking me.
The next night we went back to Sunfest, doing a complete 180, and heard Ed Sheeran play. He’s the red-headed British pop singer who sings the hit The A Team about a drug addicted prostitute. Sheeran was nominated for a Grammy for that song.
(I guess no one sings about puppies and rainbows anymore.)
I know there are other parents who might be in disbelief that I took my daughter to see Big Sean. Especially when there are so many other things that I’m strict about. The clothes she wears. The places she’s allowed to go with her friends. The amount of time she spends on social media.
And my thoughts about her listening to this type of music? I’m not thrilled with it. But she’s going to find a way to listen to it no matter what I do. Radio is free.
So go ahead. Judge me. Or better yet, don’t. I don’t judge you when your kid shows up at my house with her ass hanging out of her shorts. Or when I see the language she uses on her Facebook page. Or when the selfie she posts on Instagram shows her midriff and she has a way too mature come hither look on her face.
We’re all just trying to raise our kids the best that we can.
I know my kid. I pick my battles. She and I talk about most everything. Including Big Sean and his lyrics. And I love that about our relationship. She does too.
Our conversation is never-ending.