When do you know your past joys are behind you? This past weekend my wife and I were celebrating our second wedding anniversary by going to see a Grateful Dead tribute band. However, this trip was different the other concerts that we have been to because the best part was not the music, but it was the quiet snow falling outside. Leaving for the concert the snow was coming down fast and before we knew it we were soaked. When we arrived at the Norristown Speedline there was a little shelter that we were able to get under and then the world was suddenly silent and beautiful. We stood there watching the snow fall past the street lights and buried all of our troubles. My wife said it was like looking a Christmas card. When we finally made it to the venue and the show began and what mixed ride it was. The first band was this Allman Brothers’ bluegrass cover and everyone was doing some foot tapping dancing. Then the Grateful Dead tribute band hit the stage and laid down some late 60’s era Grateful Dead music, which was quiet sweet! Normally, I can dance vigorously through two sets of my favorite band’s music, but this night I thought,“in a bed, in a bed, by the [train tracks] I will lay my head. Listen to the [snow] sing sweet songs to rock my soul. [The snow] going to take me, sing sweet and sleepy, Sing me sweet sleepy all the way back home” (Grateful Dead, Brokedown Palace). During the middle of the second set, my wife and I started to fall asleep, which has never happen to us before.
As tired as we were, somehow, we made it through the whole show and back to the train station. While the snow had stopped falling, its’ beauty still remained and we were reminded of the beginning of the night. I realized parenthood had changed my wife and me, it had made the simple things more exciting than a rock n roll concert. That we are no longer the wild eye youths chancing the night away, but enjoying quiet family time. We spend more of the show missing our son and looking at pictures of him on my wife’s phone then actually dancing to the music. This realization is quiet shocking because growing up concerts were how I learned connected with other people and kept myself from feeling so isolated. I realized that I did not need the casual conversations with fellow concert goers to feel like I belong somewhere anymore. I had everything I needed at home to feel like I belong, my family. This moment was as unique as snowflake to me because I was noticing just how far I have come in the last three years. I went from going to 25 to 50 concerts a year to handful of them and they are the ones that really mattered to me. I would say that the last three years have taught me to value music and how I spend my time in a whole new light.
I have always valued family as long I can remember from my bullied filled childhood to now However, what brought this value to a new level is having a family of my own. That no matter what happens during my day my family will be waiting me at home. Since I was a teenager, music has been the medicine to heal all my wounds, but now it is a part of how I celebrate my life. At first my taste in music was the typical heavy metal angry thing, but now my taste is so much vaster and is required to have some kind of positive vibes to it. I now love music that celebrates who I am and the creativity of the human spirit like the music of the Grateful Dead. How do music and family combine to be such a powerful force in my life? Music is heavily tied to my memory and the moments where I felt happy and safe. My mother loves folk music and it was always playing on road trips to the Jersey Shore when I was a kid. So every time I hear folk music I think of those happy times. Now every time I see snow, I will be remember my second wedding anniversary and remember its’ lesson of enjoying simplicity. "And you know that notion just crossed my mind," that it is not just music that takes me back to a specific moment, but something from my actual environment that proven to be valuable to me.