Do you remember a time, way back before you had kids, when you promised yourself you would be a "cool" parent? You would be different. You were never going to become a dull boring grown-up just because you had kids. I remember briefly getting to know a friend's parents in college and thinking they were the coolest parents I'd ever met. They liked The Grateful Dead and by the time I met them, had spent years following their music. In my 20 year old mind, they were the coolest. I didn't think they were cool just because they liked The Dead, because I'm not sure I really liked The Dead then, but rather because this part of them didn't change just because they became parents. In other words, not only did they not subscribe to raising their child listening to Raffi, but they had some cool stories involving music while parenting. And as parents, I'm pretty sure they influenced my friend in a positive way with their taste in music.
I saw The Black Crowes last night at the same venue my husband and I first saw them back in high-school, with the same group of friends we've seen most of their shows with. And today I'm asking myself if I kept my promise. Am I a cool parent? Two decades ago, when I started following a new band called The Black Crowes, I would have hoped that I would still be cool enough to follow them into parenthood. And although life changes in many ways when you start having kids, this part of my life has never changed. Reminiscing with my friends last night before the concert, counting into double digits the number of Crowes' shows we've seen, I think we've all carried this part of our cool over into this parenting show. And we've got the stories, even guitar picks, to back us up.
I'm not going to crow and say we're cool just because we go to concerts. Maybe we're not. But if we thought we were cool before we had kids, not much has changed. We've kept this part of our lives and even incorporated it into our parenting - our kids know The Crowes, even if a lot of the world doesn't. My kids first heard them live in utero, as I was trying not to breathe the air around me too deeply, and my friends' kids knew all their lyrics before graduating preschool. Despite my Crowe-loving friends and I all having kids now, we've seen the same number of shows since our kids were born as we did before. True, last night we all made that last train home, but there have been plenty of recent shows that mirrored the early tours. And I hope there will be many more. Whenever The Crowes come back from their hiatus, during which they will be spending time parenting their own kids, we'll pick up where we left off. It doesn't matter when it is, or even if we're all a bunch of old crows. Maybe our kids will even think we're cool enough to join us someday.