So "the band" are off playing an all-ages gig this afternoon and it is sigh of relief. An all ages gig means that the Mr Ric Rac and I (and all the other parents) don't need to be there to supervise.
Whilst a good parent would never dream of denying her child the wonderful opportunities and experiences that being in a band offers, it must be said that I would be happier if I didn't have to share all those experiences.
Of course I am always as supportive as I can be from the greatest distance possible whilst still maintaining supervision. Under strict orders to go nowhere near the stage, the parents tend to hang in an uncomfortable cluster by the bar. The bar is sticky, as is every other horizontal surface in the place. The floor ? I try not to look but I know it is there because I can usually feel it vibrating.
After the first hour or so as we watch the support bands support we all resign ourselves to the fact that even if we put out lips right into each others ears and yell, we cannot possible hear each other. I usually read all the band posters and mentally correct the grammar and spelling. we text each other comments about what is happening on stage and have a polite shandy.
As the evening wears on, the patrons get drunker and the skirts get shorter. There is a whole world of weird parenting in the observance of drunk girls with their push-up "personalities" at the fore, ogling the 15 and 16 yr olds.
Once the band has played their set, they usually have a juice or two and kick back to watch the other bands (it doesn't matter that it is WAAAY past my bedtime, I have definately turned back into a pumpkin and my whole body and brain is vibrating- nope it is band etiqette to stay and watch the others bands, after all , they got you the gig).
Of course by now I can't even hear the music or tell the difference between one mop of hair and another as the crowd is thick and I am trying to keep my eyes on all four boys at the same time. The polite shandy has kicked in, my eyes are watering and I am clenching the lady muscles to the point of no return. I may or may not try and stare down the bouncer in the hope that he will kick us all out. The polite shandy way back at the start of the night is always a mistake - be warned. There is no horror like the horror of a sober 42yr old visitng a night club toilet in the wee hours of the morning.
Trust me on this and buy them a chess set.