I just sang with a Polka Band in front of the mega superstar, P!NK.
Never in my wildest imagination would I ever have conjured up a scenario where this sentence would be true. And yet it’s the thing I can’t stop talking about ever since it actually happened last night. I was hosting a “family night” for my Spring Session of music classes. I chose the local Milwaukee Lakefront Brewery and fish fry hall specifically because they have this super fun polka duo – and they use a bubble machine that the kids absolutely go crazy over. I made arrangements with the polka guys to get up and sing a few songs – I figured the kids would get a kick out of it – and they were more than accommodating. Perfect.
So my families are filing in, the kids are getting settled to order food and then someone grabs my elbow and says, “Did you know PINK is here with her family?”
PINK decided to have one of her notorious family dinners while here on tour in Milwaukee at Lakefront Brewery, the same night as my family night.
Ok…Ok…no sweat. I’m sure she’ll just keep to herself. I have an IMMENSE phobia of talking to famous people, so I knew I wasn’t going to purposely walk past her. Of course it’s SO cool to see her in person, doing normal person things, but I’m over here…she’s over there…and that’s where this ends.
Until…the Polka guys call me up to the stage for our little “gig.”
Ok…no problem. She’s WAAAAY over there and she’ll never notice I’m up here. I can sing in front of my families without a worry and just have my little moment and she’ll enjoy her fish fry. Don’t think about it, Kristen.
So there I was on a little stage…an accordion to my left and a little drum kit to my right, bubbles swirling around. I’m singing “You are my Sunshine,” COMPTELTELY yuk-ing it up in front of my music class students and their parents – I mean, I kind of lost myself for a moment with all that umpa-umpa and got a little carried away. And lo and behold…up walks Pink and her small children to come watch.
(Can you see her in the green head scarf, making a beeline for the dance floor? I did!)
Aside from suddenly becoming VERY self conscious of what a ridiculous spaz I am in front of my music class kids, I was overcome with regret for not having A. Practiced the song with the band ahead of time. B. Requested the song be played in my perfect key nor C. Had a moment to catch my breath after jumping around like a rabid gazelle to make the kids laugh.
There is Pink watching me sing.
Swallowing down the GIANT wave of panic that had suddenly seized my throat, I took a deep breath and did what anyone else would do: I pretended like I didn’t notice, even though I was darting my eyes in that direction every half second to see if she was really looking.
Nothing I can do now but pretend I’m a rock star. With a Polka band. (Are you catching the extreme sarcasm in my voice?)
So then, me and my polka guys took it down a notch and prepared to sing Edelweiss. I told everyone to find someone to snuggle – just like in music class - and Pink got down low and snuggled with her kids. She brought them in close, just like everyone else, and quietly sang the words in their ears.
As I was singing, I looked down and saw and a row of beautiful faces (my daughter’s included) lining the stage, looking up at me, chubby elbows bent and chins on the palms of their precious little hands, and I sang this lullaby for them, while Pink sang it for her kids. (Those are my sons, dancing and getting along, too - pretty much the most perfect moment of all time).
I’m grateful for this moment in time for SO many reasons, but most especially for the profound realization it brought me:
Kids don’t care about celebrities. WE are their celebrities.
As parents, we are their EVERYTHING. We just have to wake up, morning breath and all, flip on the light switch and say, “Good morning sunshine!” and we’re greeted with the same awe and admiration and love that Pink gets at her concerts. (Now…be warned…this phase doesn’t last forever…when they’re 9 and don’t want to wake up for school, you’re no longer a rock star, but…that’s another story).
As I was watching my tiny audience that night, I felt like a totally famous rock star. I’m “Ms. Kristen,” which is just as important to them as any other famous musician. And to my kids? I’m Mommy. They don’t care that I’m “Ms. Kristen” because MOMMY tops ‘em all.
Pink got down low just like the rest of the moms and dads and snuggled her little ones close – she is her own kids’ rock star BECAUSE she’s their Mommy. No different than us.
We have these short years where we are their everything…WE are THEIR Pink. We are the epicenter of their very existence. In a way, it's our job to open their eyes to a world beyond ourselves, but...we are missing out if we don't revel in these years when we get to be famous celebrities from morning till night.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, I hope you feel the immense admiration, the awesome love and the celebrity power that comes with being: Mommy.