‘I found a love for me
Darling just dive right in
And follow my lead
Well I found a girl beautiful and sweet’
Laura is very fond of Ed Sheeran. In fact, she adores him. I think most people would agree that Ed wouldn’t be the most gorgeous human to look at, so I asked Laura what she loved so much about him. She perfectly articulated in a few sentences that his lyrics resounded with her. They told stories. Stories of romance, heartache, real life, tragedy, happiness, and love. She loved this about Ed. She was drawn to his deep and meaningful lyrics accompanied by outstanding musicality. I was highly impressed with my girl’s detailed explanation. After several years of listening to Ed, we secured tickets to see him live in Belfast. Our first concert together. I like Ed’s writing style but I am no fan. I was more excited to be sharing a musical adventure with Laura. Laura’s first concert. I experienced her excitement. The thrill, anxiety, passion, overwhelm, atmosphere, interaction, and joy. She deliberated over what to wear. The style of make-up. Heels or not? It was hilariously funny to observe her priorities for this event. The day arrived. It was like Christmas morning. The high pitched OMG on repeat. The ridiculous jumping up and down while clapping hands frantically displayed Laura’s true excitement for the imminent concert. And then, anxiety set in. The anxiety monster stirred within Laura’s sensitive demeanour. Her emotions began to play havoc with her. What if she got lost? What if someone spikes her drink? What if she becomes separated from me? What if the toilets are disgusting? What if, what if what if…Excitement quickly turned to fear. Happiness to doubt. Thrill to panic. Laura’s emotional turmoil made me realise that she is still a child. Vulnerable. Pure. Innocent. That day she needed reassurance. Support. Advice. Understanding. We talked honestly with open hearts. We made realistic and logistically arrangements. We talked of worst case scenarios and solutions. And all was ok. You see, our children are journeying through life experiencing new things, new situations, and new events. This new event for Laura was huge. She had no prior experience of something so big. She was nervous. Excited, but nervous. And that is completely fine. We took the time to remedy her anxious thoughts in preparation for an event she could properly enjoy. One of our agreements was to be in the concert venue very early. Before it became too crowded. We were among the first hundred people through the gates and were therefore given priority space very close to the stage. Ed was almost within touching distance. The show commenced. Laura felt secure. She did get lost. Lost in the romantic lyrics, the sound combinations, and the electric atmosphere of what was an amazing experience, for the two of us. That evening, I observed my daughter. I had time to admire her beauty. Her sensitivity. Her vulnerability. Her. She sang her heart out to every word of every song as if Ed was listening to her. I listened. I listened to her stunning voice, her happy vocals. I watched her jubilant face and animated body. She lived each song and felt each word. She adored it and was grateful. I watched my little dancing queen with unconditional love and joy. A perfect girl. My girl.