How Billy Joel Brought My Family Closer Than Ever
Wednesday night I went to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. The ticket was my big splurge for the year and I was beyond excited. (I mean, it's Billy Joel. At the Garden.) While most people go to a concert with their friends, I went with my family—my mom and my cousin. We had a blast together and it got me thinking about how important it is to share multi-generational experiences like this.
I first fell in love with Billy and his music when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. My parents were watching a concert of his on TV and I wanted to do anything my parents were doing. His talent and the soulfulness of his music was not lost on me and right there—sitting in our den craning my neck while two feet away from the television set—began my fandom.
My mom grew up on Billy Joel. She has his records. She remembers when The Nylon Curtain came out. And because we were going to the concert together, she told me and my cousin about the time that she and her two best friends went to see Billy Joel in New Haven, CT. They were 16-years-old and on their way driving home from the Hartford train station to her best friend's house post-Billy, singing and laughing in the front seat, they made the (then illegal) right turn on red since the late-night roads were empty. And...the cops pulled them over. "We were shaking," my mom told me, as she relived that night in her head. It's stories like these that make me smile—that give me a clue to the girl my mom was growing up and I feel closer to her because of it.
It's so important to me that I not only trust my mom to give me advice, but I can also have fun with her. Not to mention, when I was younger my cousin was a bit like a big brother to me (and by that I mean I played the tag-along younger sister role very well on family vacation). Since we've gotten older, he and I see less of each other, yet our love for music connects us. It's hugely important to be able to enjoy your family. Family can be there for you at your worst moments, but they should also be there for the everyday fun tidbits.
It was a very cool feeling for a 50-something (shhh!), a thirty-something, and a 25-year-old to stand there in the glow of the Garden just having a grand ole time. As the three of us belted out Pressure and swooned to She's Always a Woman, I was so happy to know that this night would be something that we share. Someday I can tell my kids about the night I went to Billy Joel with their grandma and their cousin and we had the sickest seats and this lady yelled at me to sit down but I didn't care because I was having the best time. And so it goes.
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