When I bought three last-minute, cheap-seats tickets to a U2 concert at the Minnesota Vikings Stadium, I expected to be in charge of the spontaneous adventure with my 16-year-old son, Rory, and his buddy, Louie, both high school juniors.
But it turned out that I was on the receiving end of the night’s teachable moments.
I admit to worrying a bit about escorting two teens, one with impaired vision, through a crowd of 50,000 concertgoers, to our nosebleed seats. We were as far from the Joshua Tree stage as you would imagine $38 tickets to U2 might be.
We joked that Louie’s limited eyesight was not a disadvantage; Bono & Co. appeared indistinct to everyone seated in Section 329, just below the rafters.
The bigger joke, though, was on me.
I meant to be a gentle shepherd, guiding my flock of two through stadium security and up jam-packed escalators and steep flights of stairs.
Instead, I was an annoying Mother Hen.
Here’s what I would do differently, should Rory and Louie ever let me go with them to another big concert:
Let Louie judge whether he needed navigational assistance, as opposed to my running commentary. On a very crowded concourse, it wasn’t helpful for me to say, every 2 feet, “There are people coming your way. Watch out.”
Stop asking Louie, repeatedly, “What do you see?” From our seats that were further out than Pluto, I could hardly see anything myself. Why didn’t I ask a different question? Or just stop talking?
Rory told me as kindly as he could that my feeble attempts to protect two boys who didn’t need protecting bordered on over-bearing. He said, “Louie’s friends are always kind of watching. But only when he needs us do we come out of the shadows.” Translation: “Chill out, Mom!”
So, guys, if I promise to tone it down, maybe we can go to Katy Perry together in December. Just think about it …
Patricia McMorrow of St. Paul, MN, is a member of the board of directors of Louie’s Vision. Her son, Rory, is among the great group of friends who make up Louie McGee’s circle of trust.