Master A and I have recently started going to concerts together; it’s our special time – a forever-memory moment.
I make a day of it. Buy the best tickets available which I imagine to be front row but the tout bots somehow always place us high on the upper tier at The O2.
Even though we can get the train home afterwards, I keep the treats coming. I book us into the Intercontinental London – The O2 where we order room service and make like celebrities walking (swaggering in Master A’s case) through the covered walkway that leads directly into the venue.
Inside, I don’t kick up a fuss when my nine-year-old spends his saved-up pennies on overpriced merchandise – even though I know the must-have tee will be history the following the day. And the poster which I have to negotiate through the throng of on-rushing concert goers will be replaced by a freebie from the centrespread of Insect Monthly.
Our first outing was Justin Bieber; our second was Bruno Mars. And our third – well that was going to be Ariana Grande.
On Tuesday, on the school-run, we were listening to the reports of the horrific suicide bombing at Manchester Arena. Master A turned to me, visibly shaken, his face colourless. He said: “Mummy that could have been us.”
My heart cracked; he was voicing what I was thinking but never would have said.
I pictured the typical pre-gig scene – children, pre-teens and teens buzzing with excitement with their friends; their parents making their own forever-memory moments. Then all that ripped apart replaced by tears, blood, terror.
My hugs with Master A are becoming harder and lasting longer. My prayers go out to the people of Manchester.
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