In 2009, I took my almost 5-year-old to a concert. The artist was Taylor Swift, a still somewhat new artist, but one who had quickly taken the world (including myself and my daughter) by storm. This concert was at our local arena, which, if Taylor came to today, would require a month’s worth of concerts to accommodate the same number of people at ONE of her stadium concerts today.
In the 14 years since, I’ve had two more daughters (and two sons). Those other two daughters love Taylor Swift as much as their sister and I do. We eagerly await each new album and, thanks to the magic of music streaming, listen to the entire album as soon as it drops. My daughters have become masters at decoding all of Taylor’s hints and Easter eggs. The other night, my 14-year-old stayed up late into the night, along with millions of others, to decode all the hints on Google about 1989TV.
Our car rides are singalongs to Fifteen, Cruel Summer, August, You Belong with Me, and more. After school, time was spent rewatching the live performance of Should’ve Said No over and over on YouTube because the waterfall at the end was everything. Even though I’m older than Taylor, and my girls are younger, it feels like we all collectively grew up together, with her songs being the soundtrack to our lives. Love Story perfectly describes my love for my husband. Even though I was way past Fifteen when the song came out, it took me right back to high school. Mean was played on repeat when some friends weren’t being very nice. How did Taylor know exactly what was going on in our lives and write the perfect words to express our feelings, emotions, and experiences?
The year after the Fearless tour, my oldest daughter was diagnosed with a genetic disorder that set off years of difficulties, issues, painful days, and more. Soon after her diagnosis, Taylor’s third album, Speak Now, was released. Immediately, the 14th track on that album became our song. I read an article that Taylor wrote it about a moment she shared with the band backstage during the Fearless tour (which is the same tour we saw). However, to us, that song—Long Live—immediately became OUR song.
Long live the walls we crashed through,
how the kingdom lights shined just for me and you.
I was screaming, Long live all the magic we made,
and bring on all the pretenders, I’m not afraid.
Long live all the mountains we moved
I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you.
Dealing with my daughter’s illness, crashing through walls, fighting dragons—this song brought out all the emotions of that. But this wasn’t a sad song that reminded us of all the difficulties my daughter was going through. This was a joyful song, a fun song, an overcoming song, and one that we BELT OUT at the top of our lungs every time it comes on. I sing it with tears streaming down my face, thinking of my girls, thinking of this song and how it embodies them and their fierce, beautiful, amazing spirits. And boy, do they know how to make magic, and fighting these dragons with them has been the honor and highlight of my life.
Due to life, having babies, life, kids, life, and more, we haven’t made it back to another concert. So when the Eras tour was announced, I knew I wanted nothing more than to take my girls and have an amazing night. I did all the things required to try to score tickets off Ticketmaster and, like thousands of others, was bummed and frustrated with all of the trouble trying to get tickets. Since we didn’t have money to pay 10 times the price for resale tickets, we resigned ourselves to watching the concert through TikToks and reels (thank you, social media). Then we got word she was extending her tour. Once again, I parked myself in front of the computer, trying to get tickets. Once again, no luck.
I briefly entertained the thought of applying for a security job at the stadiums for one of the concerts next year. Since I’m about as threatening as a cotton ball, I quickly threw that idea away. Then we saw the news that the Eras tour will be shown in theaters nationwide starting October 13th. My girls, my sweet girls, who wanted so badly to go to the live show, who sat with me so patiently while we waited and waited and waited online to see if we could even get in the queue to attempt to get tickets, and didn’t complain one time when we couldn’t . . . .those sweet girls are giddy with excitement over the movie.
Since the day the tickets went on sale, we’ve been making plans. Shopping, buying concert outfits, deciding where we are going to eat before the movie. All three girls are currently sitting here making friendship bracelets to wear to the movie and trade in case anyone wants to (just like they do at the concerts).
As a mom, I’m still brokenhearted that I can’t get these girls to the concert. It is such a dream and a wish to get a chance to take them and experience that with them. I know it would become a core memory and we would never forget it. But as a mom, I am SO PROUD of these girls for their graciousness in understanding that sometimes life doesn’t go our way. Sometimes we can’t get the tickets, sometimes we can’t make the trip, sometimes we don’t get the experience we want.
But sometimes, just sometimes, thanks to the magic of Taylor Swift, we get the movie. We get the excitement of at least seeing the show together, even if it’s not the way we’d hoped to see it. I’m so excited about watching the tour on the big screen. I can’t wait to share this with my girls.
Long Live all the magic we’ll make.