My daughter is a Directioner.
Being a Directioner means a lot to my girl. A lot.
And because it means a lot to her, I have made sure that it means something to me.
Because I get it.
My teenage years were all about music.
My first, and only, boy band was New Kids on the Block. From there, my tastes took quite a different turn and I moved on to loving The Beatles and then Britpop arrived. Suede, Pulp, Blur and more, along with favourites, The Wonder Stuff.
During my teen years, music, along with my friendships, was everything to me.
My best friend (back then and to this day – a music friendship endures!) and I lived for our music. For the NME and Melody Maker every Wednesday. For a trip to get a new CD, or dare I say it, tape?! And most importantly, a bus ride into Brum to buy tickets for a gig. We always had to have one booked, one to look forward to going to. We loved live music.
As I write this, I am there again. At those gigs. I forget that I’m 45, I’m a teen again and music is everything to me.
Nowadays, I always have music playing when I’m home. I play it as soon as I get up in the morning to start my day, then as I work throughout the day. I can’t imagine not doing so, a day doesn’t go by without music. I guess those teen years have stuck with me. Music still means a lot to me.
These days, along with those earlier tastes, I love listening to classics from the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Springsteen and Billy Joel, I like to singalong to songs from musicals and I enjoy current music, usually country or guitar pop. I don’t do well with dance or rap!
Anyway, all this is to say that when my teenager turned to me and told me that music was everything, I knew exactly where she was coming from.
Not that it’s something she’s ever needed to tell me. This girl has been singing since she could talk and whenever she is home, her music is playing.
She recently went away for a few days with school and the first thing she did when she got home is put her music on and just lay there, taking it all in.
Understanding where she’s coming from with this seems to draw us even closer together. She loves that I get her, that I know how it feels.
I listen to her music with her, I watch the many, many, many YouTube clips of her favourites and we chat about upcoming albums and tours.
You can ask me about Harry, Niall, Louis, Liam and Zayn and I can tell you far more than you’d expect nowadays.
Ask me about Kevin the pigeon, ask me about ‘You Sing’, ask me about ‘We took a chonce’ and ask me about No Control and yes, I know the dance. In denim.
And whenever I mention to friends that my girl is all about One Direction, and they utter the words that they always do ‘but haven’t they broken up?’, I even find myself reminding them that actually ‘they’re on a hiatus’. My girl would not forgive me if I suggested otherwise.
She loves their music. She listens to all of their solo music and supports and loves them. Of course she has her favourites, so she’s currently all over Niall’s social media hoping for a new album from him soon. If he then tours, it’s a foregone conclusion that getting tickets to see him will be my most important mum job of the year. I know it, I am prepped.
We’ve decided that we want 2023 to be the year of live music for us, we want to see as many concerts as we can together. We have our Harry and Louis tickets all ready to go now! We’ve a few other people on our list, too, and are hoping Niall will announce something so we are lurking all of their social feeds in anticipation.
Music connects us. Our love of music, and fortunately our similar tastes, means a lot to us.
And until my girl grows out of it, grows out of wanting to share this world she loves so much with her mum, we’ll be dancing in the kitchen together singing out every single word of Best Song Ever together, humming along contentedly to Perfect, and I don’t think you can ever stop me singing loudly to Slow Hands. It is what it is now.
Thank you to the music. For giving me something special to share with my girl while she still wants me sharing it with her.