I recently attended the Boston show of the Hella Mega Tour with my best friend. Hella Mega boasts a lineup of Weezer, Fall Out Boy, and Green Day, and as fans of all three bands we knew we could not pass this opportunity up.
We purchased our tickets at the end of 2019, but due to COVID the show was postponed to 2021. As a mom, I expected my social life to be scarce, but a pandemic had made it obsolete. So I was really, really looking forward to a night out.
Despite dreary weather and Fall Out Boy dropping out due to a team member contracting the virus, I had a blast. But as I sang (horribly) along to all the hits from Weezer and Green Day that I’ve known by heart since junior high, I noticed myself stumbling over the lyrics. The choruses I had no problem with. But the verses were another story.
These were songs I blasted while driving my car to my first job at a movie theater. Songs I did karaoke to. Songs I played in my bedroom while feeling angsty and full of teenage emotions. Once upon a time, I knew them like the back of my hand — every word, every inflection, every intonation. Now, they’re a very vague memory.
I’ve always been known to be a wealth of useless knowledge. Pub trivia nights are totally my jam. If a friend or family member recalls a random movie or obscure band but can’t remember the name, I’m the one they call for that info. But now, when I watch Jeopardy the answers don’t click right away (or I’ve completely forgotten them). I could once easily recite not one but two monologues I used to audition with — now, not so much.
In place of all those song lyrics and random tidbits are my child’s interests. Now I know all the catchphrases of every member of Paw Patrol. I know all about construction vehicles and how to prepare dino chicken nuggets to his liking without having to refer to the instructions. I often have to take a moment to recall why I’ve opened the refrigerator, but I can be the Rosetta Stone for my toddler’s talk without hesitation. What I had for breakfast? Complete blur. But I can recite all my son’s favorite books by heart.
I may not be as sharp as I once was. I don’t have room in my brain for my interests of the past. But I have developed some cool new abilities, like being two steps ahead of a toddler who loves trying to pull the wool over my eyes, or knowing precisely where the toy he’s looking for is. It’s almost like I have new cool superpowers — mom brain at its finest. And that’s a pretty awesome tradeoff.