I’ve been in a lavender haze since attending Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in Minneapolis with my daughter. To call it magical is an understatement. Holy feels like too much, but it’s not. The lights, costumes, dances, perfectly-timed winks into the big screen, secret cues and clues, glowing bracelets, stage dive and long swim, adoring fans, the dedications to strangers posting about late brothers on Twitter, and gratitude for people showing up (as if we wouldn’t), wrapped every single person in her bejeweled embrace.
Taylor Swift has built her success flawlessly, and it’s awe-inspiring. It’s also hard-fought, with years of others trying to hold her back, knock her down, insult, criticize, scandalize, and minimize her intelligence, creativity, and unyielding persistence. She has somehow cut through the haters and shaken off the bad blood with superpower moves to become what some hail as the best songwriter, artist, and performer of all time. And while she sings openly about relationships that have come and gone, one person is steadfastly by her side—her mom.
Andrea Swift was seen at the Minneapolis Eras show on Friday night handing out hot dogs to fans, and my teenage neighbor took a picture with her. Andrea is smiling big, her arm wrapped around my neighbor’s shoulders, the epitome of a soccer mom who knows every kid on the team’s name as she walks the sidelines, ensuring everyone has water and snacks while cheering for hours. Except she’s a rockstar’s mom, and her kid is the number one player on the field.
I can only imagine what it’s like to stand on a stadium floor watching your daughter sing and dance and dazzle 60,000 people night after night. And I can’t fathom the struggles and minefields she’s had to help Taylor navigate. Since her daughter was fourteen, Andrea Swift has been supporting Taylor’s journey to making her dreams come true, and well, we can all see how that’s turned out.
As a mom, I struggle daily to help my kid make good choices, but they usually range from when to go to bed and what not to eat to avoid a sugar coma—obviously, not quite the scale of Taylor’s life decisions. When faced with a complicated issue with one of my kids recently, though, I found myself asking what would Taylor’s mom do? I pondered for a while and it got me thinking about how she raised one of the most influential, positive, kind, creative, powerful, intelligent, fearless, confident, humble, gracious, and successful women of all time.
So, Andrea, if you ever feel like writing a book, or even a short article, or you know, chatting on the phone for a few minutes because you seem like the kind of person who would be fun to talk to, here are some serious parenting questions I have for you:
- How do you help kids navigate bullies and people who throw rocks at things that shine?
- How do you handle a fearless kid and balance letting them make their own choices?
- Do you have any sayings or mottos that helped you parent over the years?
- How do you handle it when your kid hangs out with people you know are not good for them (cough cough, Dear John)?
- How do you navigate arguments with tweens/teenagers? And how do you make up?
- Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently as a mom? Is there anything you would have done more or less?
- What is the key to staying humble?
- What would Taylor say is her favorite thing about you as a mom? And as a woman?
- What is the most important thing for moms to remember as their kids enter the world as young adults?
- What do you do when you’re feeling worried or anxious about your kids?
- What advice have you given Taylor over the years? How do you handle it if she ignores your advice?
- How do you motivate kids to work hard and push themselves, or must they be self-driven?
- If you had to narrow it down, what is your favorite thing about being a mom?
I hope that’s not too many. I probably have more. But I’ll stop there for now.
Beyond all of Taylor Swift’s professional success, she is deeply kind and thoughtful, humble and generous, gracious and in tune with the hearts of the world. I don’t know if that is innate, taught, or both, but I’m pretty sure her mom has something to do with it.
And maybe a little Karma.