Defining moments. They occur every day, every where. Most of the time we just ignore them and blindly stumble forward.
Mine occur in weird places always with an ironic twist.
Such was the case Sunday night. I along with Karen, my BFF of 37 years, went to go see Leon Russell at a the Granada Theater, a small music venue in Dallas. Some of you may recall our last incident involving Leon.
This time I had secured front row seats, but sadly, when we entered the parking lot, Leon was nowhere to be found–probably still scarred and/or scared from last year.
OK, so back to defining moments. I was particularly excited to hear Kirby Brown. My favorite tech guy at school (who incidentally is young enough to be a child of mine) told me a buddy of his played in the band.
I did what all good teachers and moms do. I googled and discovered I really liked the band. While I loved the music (purchasing a half dozen songs on iTunes), I loved the fact that Kirby apparently can read.
According to the bio on his web site, Kirby said he was "weaned on Twain and Whitman, became a man with The Stones on the radio."
(So for all you English teachers out there reading this, the Twain and Whitman thing should be enough to make you run speedy quick to purchase at least one song.)
This is someone you could actually carry on a conversation with–in complete sentences (which btw, I did). And if that's not enough to make you go buy his music (and don't you think it ought to be?), his CD, Child of Calamity, takes its name from Twain's Huckleberry Finn.
So I'm sitting on the front row with the rest of the older set listening to Kirby Brown while waiting for Leon (a tough crowd for any young band–picture all these old people just waiting and waiting and waiting and drinking and drinking and drinking). Seated to the right of me was a woman claiming to be "a Leon Russell fan for life" who followed him from a show in Tulsa. (I decided NOT to tell her about the parking lot incident of last year fearing it might result in fisticuffs.)
When Kirby was finished, I commented to the safer woman sitting to the left of Karen how great the "kid" was as well as the rest of the "boys" in the band, and how I hoped they would be successful.
She, too, commented about how great the "kids" were and said that anyone of "those boys" could be her son who was somewhere in New Mexico pursuing his dream of being a musician. Taos, I think she said.
I later told my BFF how ironic it was that 37 years ago, these "boys" would have been hot musicians to us, and we wouldn't have needed any encouragement to get up and dance. (Hails bails, I would have gotten up on the table in my younger years, but at 55 years old, there's just something inherently icky about dancing in front of someone who's young enough to be your son.)
Somewhere along the way, I got old. But that's OK. I may not dance on the table, but 37 years later, I can look at those kids with a sense of school teacher pride, inwardly cheering them on. Yes, I am hoping they will be successful, but it will not be the success that defines them.
Those of us who have jumped over the 50 mile marker of our lives know the importance of pursuing dreams. It's not the outcome that defines us; it's the pursuit that changes us, and ultimately, defines our success in life.