Last Friday I took my 12-year-old niece, Olivia, and her two best friends to see One Direction in concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena. For those of you who have never been in the same room with 10,000 screaming young girls, here’s what it’s like:

…..And they weren’t even on stage yet. I am still suffering from hearing loss.

Anyway, this was the first time my niece and her girlfriends had ever been to a concert. They were SO excited. I was excited for them! On the way to the show we blasted One Direction songs. I hardly knew any of the lyrics, with the exception of that one overplayed song I heard about 900 times on the radio. As the girls sang at the top of their lungs and giddily shrieked at the thought of being in the very same room as Niall, Harry, Zayn, Louis, and Liam, I thought “Ahhhh to be that young again!” It was then that I also realized “OMG. I’m, old. I am a mom. When the hell did that happen?”

When we arrived at the venue, it struck me as odd that a clean-cut boy band, whose fan base is primarily young girls ages 7-17, would play an arena located within one of the world’s largest casinos. As my sister and I held on tight to the girls and marched them through the smoke-filled casino – the smell of cheap whiskey and the ringing noise of slot machines in the air – I laughed at the whole scene. The girls were too starstruck to notice the booze, gambling, and other vices happening all around them.

Once we got to our seats, the shrieks of anticipation commenced at 20,000 decibels. One mom turned to me and said “I brought earplugs,” when I looked at her in disbelief over the mayhem. I told the girls to calm down, that the show hadn’t even started. “Didn’t you like a band this much when you were our age?” was what I got in return. I proceeded to tell them about my very first New Kids on the Block concert many, many moons ago and asked if they had ever heard of them. “Um, yeah, I think I heard of them,” one of them replied politely. Oh damn I feel old.

Who remembers these guys?!

When the lights dimmed and the band took the stage, I have to admit, I joined in the screaming too. I have to say the show was pretty incredible. Those are some talented young fellas. And dare I say it….they were all so CUTE! What I loved most about the show was watching girls dancing with their MOMs in the aisles. It was so surreal.

As the mother of a spunky daughter, with a budding love of music (she demands that I play certain songs when riding in the car) I am well aware this is the new direction my life is headed: boy band concerts and amazing mother-daughter memories. I am no longer the adolescent buying dozens of issues of Teen Beat and plastering my walls with photos of various boy-bands such as NKOTB. I love that I am the adult now, if only for the fact that I could legally enjoy a cocktail while watching a concert. I aspire to be that cool mom who will take my daughter to see her first concert a decade from now. And maybe when that time comes, I will remember to bring earplugs.

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