When did the generation gap disappear?

Janet Christie's Mum's the Word



Youngest Child doesn’t get to see Eldest’s band very often as she’s too young, but tonight it’s a 14+. When I arrive, she’s already pressed up against the barrier at the front with her pals. Spying me, she works her way back through the crowd. “Come on,” she says, “Up to the front,” and I’m frogmarched to the barrier. But mosh pits make me anxious. Ever since I had my own Rolling Stones at Altamont situation – OK, squashed at a Joe Jackson gig in the late 70s – and I know from experience of Eldest’s gigs that we could be in for a severe jostling. It’s all right for Youngest, but if I go down I could break a hip.

Surreptitiously I hold onto the back of her crop top so I can take her with me if we have to jump out, and I’m considering holding onto the back of her friend too, but rule it out as weird. Although TBH, if it does erupt, they’ll be the ones rescuing me.

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As the music gets louder and the mosh pit wilder my anxiety grows. I haven’t 
felt this tense since the boys’ birthday parties at the trampoline centre. But Youngest just laughs and grabs my arms, pumping them in the air in time to the music.

“Dance,” she shouts, bopping away.

So now I’m dancing and waving my hands in the air. Like I don’t care – I do, really.

“Sing,” she bellows, beaming.

“OK.” I mouth a few lyrics and wonder what’s wrong with me. At what age does it become a crime to enjoy yourself?

After the gig Eldest appears beside us, sweaty and happy. “I saw you from the stage,” he says. “Both of you.” He smiles.

“Ahem. Well, Youngest made me,” I say.

“Great stuff.”

Really? So when did the generation gap disappear? Who even says generation gap any more? When I was his age I was more likely to cross paths with a unicorn, socially, than a parent.

“So… are you heading home now?” he says.

“Yes, work in the morning...”

“Cool. We’re going for a drink so could you take some guitars home in the car please?”

Now that’s more like it. Normal order has been restored. n