Saturday, May 08, 2010

Let Your Inner Child Run Free -- Michelle Monkou

This weekend is dedicated to Mother's Day, specifically Sunday.  But before we get there, I want to celebrate childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.  Despite the angst and melodrama that we suffered about our body image, braces-ridden smiles, pimples galore, etc., there must have been those few delightful and memorable times that we treasure.  Now that we are grown ups, responsibilities, stress, and more angst become a part of daily life, we tend to forget to enjoy simple things.  Our inner child has been told to go into hiding.

Well, I've decided as I travel through my 40s that I'd like to smell the roses, even stop to pick a few daisies, and kick up my bare feet in the sand.  Over a month ago, my teen daughter and I joined three other women and headed to Italy to see a young German rock band. Now I don't suggest following my lead, I'm just sharing my adventure. 

I met these women through a fan forum and we virtually organized every detail of this trip.  I joined one lady on the connecting flight to Milan in New York.  Then we all connected at the airport in Milan where we hugged and laughed that we were finally meeting after months of virtually conversing.

We stayed in four hotels as we went from Milan to Torino to Padova and back to Milan. Another woman was like the general of the group. She made sure we ate, were hydrated, etc. She would have been great as a chaperone on a senior class trip. The third woman was low keyed, had toured with other bands, and had mad skills with her professional camera.

For the entire trip, I couldn't believe that I was going to Milan for a rock concert. Who does that? Well in Europe we met lots of people who travel from one country to the next with no hesitation. I guess it would be like going from New York to Florida to Texas. However, our little group seemed to fascinate many of the parents whose inner child seemed to be on hiatus as they patiently sat in the middle of the screaming fans unfazed by the music or the surrounding energy.

That didn't stop us. I'd already taken my daughter to her first rock concert last year to see Fall Out Boy, so she knew that I could rock out with the best of them. At the first concert in Turin/Torino, she and I screamed and danced shoulder to shoulder. We showed a group of teeny boppers standing near us what rocking out really meant. We would scream and then they would lean over to look at us before screaming (and never at the same decibel). If we danced around, they would look, analyze, and then copy. I took the whole thing as a form of flattery.

By the second concert in Padova, we were exhausted, but determined that we could do this all over again. This time my daughter opted to head for the seats because standing on the floor with her small stature would not have given her a good vantage point. She later learned that the seats weren't better when people stood to see the stage. At the end of the concert, when we reunited (I stayed on the floor and went into my own euphoric zone), she couldn't stop grinning. Her expression was priceless. Immediately we headed to the vendor. I bought a poster for my new office. She got an oversized flag with the group's image.

We shared our thoughts about this concert, which was even better than the one in Torino. The crowd came ready to engage with the group and celebrate. Somehow, our little group bonded over this concert as we tiredly and quite noisily made our way back to our hotel.
Now we are back in the U.S., in our different homes, and we still have fantastic memories of those ten days. 
So let your inner child run free.  Live. Love. Laugh.
Share an inner child moment or wish.  I'll pick a winner, randomly, for chocolates and autographed book from me. 
Michelle Monkou


Christina Hollis said...

Michelle, that sounds so much fun! It's been ages since I went to a rock concert and I assumed 'Health and Safety' gurus had taken all the fun out of them.
Screaming in Torino sounds like a great antidote to travel stress!

Laurie said...

Wow What a trip!

What band did you see? How did you learn about them?

We saw the German band Chickeria
at the GermanFest in Milwaukee. Loved them! Actually, we've seen we them 3 times over the past few years.

I was amazed to learn that Germany is the size of California. It really puts Europe in a different perspective.

I'm glad that you had such a wonderful time with your daughter.

Happy Mother's Day

johnslake at usa dot com

Virginia said...

Wow I would love to take a trip like this! I have heard a trip to Italy is awesome, my brother in law has been and he loved it. It sounds like you all had a great time! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!


Dina said...

that was amazing just visulizing it. I would love to be able to go that, have my passport now need to use it. :) Someday I may just up and go, hope it happens sooner thanlater and to meet up with friends, cool.


runner10 said...

Sounds like a great trip. I feel like I am "living it up" when I take the weekend off from housework and cooking.

Alison said...

Now that the sun is here, I love taking my shoes off and walking barefoot on the patches of floor the sun has warmed. Not a big thing really, but I enjoy it so much!

Mary said...

You described that so perfectly I could actually see it. That sounds like a great time. I love hearing about great trips like this.

Michelle Monkou said...

The band is Tokio Hotel. The lead singer and guitarist are identical twins, although to see them you'd disagree. They met when they were 10 yrs old; got their first hit at 15 and now they'll be 21.

I'm always game for an adventure. I was happy that the trip met all my expectations and then some.

I hope that my daughter will remember this even when I have to say no to her LOL.

Michelle Monkou said...

The winner is Mary -

Mary said...

My daughter loves Tokio Hotel! She used to have posters from them all over her bedroom walls and had all their CD's.

Oh and thanks Michelle!Woohoo!