The year was 1999, early Saturday morning at the Jasper Mall.
I was a nervous wreck waiting on the wooden benches outside the Sound Shop. The line wrapped around the center of the mall in a curvy line and out the front door. Everyone was trying to get tickets to see the Backstreet Boys at the BJCC for the Millennium tour. All of this was way before the advent of cell phones and apps that let you purchase your tickets instantly.
At this time in my life I was over the moon in love with The Backstreet Boys. Earlier that week my mom had also stood in an even larger line to get a wristband for said concert. The wristband didn’t guarantee you tickets – it just guaranteed you could get in line to see if you could get tickets.
You can only imagine how my twelve year-old self acted all week. I watched Mom’s hands like a hawk – nothing could possibly happen to that wristband. Then on Saturday with a cup of coffee in her hand, Mom patiently stood in that line for over two hours or more slowly crawling her way into the store and toward the counter. A few hours later when she came out of the Sound Shop waving those tickets at me I almost fainted. It’s the first true feeling of happiness I can recall.
My mother was among the crowd that swooned over artists in her day like Donny Osmond and Paul Revere and the Raiders, all of them holding that place that Nick Carter had held in my own twelve year-old heart. I’m sure we didn’t have the money to buy those tickets, or the money to buy me a new concert outfit, or enough money to eat dinner, put gas in the car and purchase an over priced concert t-shirt, but that November in 1999 my mom made sure that I was going to attend that concert. We even took one of my close friends.
When I saw The Backstreet Boys were coming back to Alabama for their DNA World Tour, it got me to thinking about my high school years when my mother would carry me to Backstreet Boys concerts. The Millennium tour at the BJCC was the night that bonded my mother to me as more than just my mom – she became my friend. And it wouldn’t be until many years later when I fully learned to appreciate just how important that moment was.
Year’s later she would go on to take me to more Backstreet Boys concerts - all of them in Georgia. (My favorite being the time she taped the confirmation for the tickets to the Christmas tree) Of all the 9 BSB concerts I’ve attended, only three haven’t been with my mother.
I guess a mother’s love surpasses anything – sleep, time, money. When your kids are happier there is no other feeling. Man, if I could go back and tell my seventh-grade self to savor those moments.
So on this Mother’s Day, here is to all the mothers who went broke over the years taking their kids to things they loved, making sure they had the times of their lives. Here’s to all the mom’s that have waited in lines that wrapped around malls just to get a wristband in hopes of being able to have the opportunity to purchase tickets to a concert. Here’s to all the mom’s who have lost sleep from driving their kids home after they have sung to the top of their lungs every word they could of their favorite band. Here’s to every sacrifice for a happy moment – because the older I get the more I realize just how important making those memories are.
Come September, I’ll add BSB concert number 10 to my repertoire and get to keep my mother’s streak of missing only three concerts alive. While she deserves so much, a little token of my appreciation for what she’s done for me can only come from making a memory with her. I sure hope my mom has read this to the end, because yes, I did get her a ticket. And yes she is finding out about it right here, in this column. Because there is no one I’d rather share this memory with than my mother.
Call your mom today and tell her that you love her.
You only get one mom, so use the time you have with her wisely.