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Interviews Parenting Stories

My Daughter and One Direction: remembering the time I took her to meet the band

My daughter and I were planning a kayak trip down the Delaware River. My son and I had made the trip 2 years earlier and had a great time paddling down the river and camping on the banks. The date was drawing closer and we talked frequently about how much fun we’ll have.

About a week before we were to make the trip, I received an email from Sony asking if I wanted to interview One Direction. I only knew two One Direction songs, but I recognized the band had an enormous fan base and were all over the TV and radio. The date however was to take place the same day my daughter and I were to leave on our trip. I emailed my contact at Sony and asked if I could bring my daughter and she responded, “no.” I informed her I could not make the interview unless I brought my daughter. The response to that was, “if we let you, then we would have to let the other bloggers,” and if I will come anyway because they wanted a dad to interview the band. I replied again saying I understood, but had a special weekend planned. The next day I received another email and was told I could bring my daughter and other bloggers could bring their teenage kids, but could not ask for photos. She was 8 and so I answered again and stated her age. They said I could bring her.  Before I confirmed my presence, I had to run it by my daughter.

I sat down with my daughter and told her I was invited to interview One Direction and she could go with me, but it was the same time as the kayak trip. She asked me what I wanted to do and I told her it was her choice. We could kayak down the Delaware or we could meet One Direction. Without hesitation, she answered she wanted to meet One Direction. Then we brushed up on our One Direction knowledge and listened to all their songs.

The night before we met them, we attended a viewing of the movie ‘This is Us,’ which is a documentary about the band. We went out to dinner before the movie and had a wonderful daddy/daughter date. After the movie, we stopped for milkshakes and sang our favorite 1D songs.

The next day, I woke her up and we took the subway into Manhattan. While on the subway, we sang their songs and talked about the movie and picked our favorite band members (Niall for me and Harry for her). When we reached our stop, we exited the subway and began walking towards the hotel where we were to meet the band. As we turned the corner, I realized how big the band was. Thousands of screaming fans were lined up behind barricades going all the way down the street, hoping to see the vehicles that transported Liam, Zayn, Harry, Louis, and Niall. We were stopped by police officers outside the hotel and I informed them I was with the media and passed through.

Outside of the room where the interview was to take place, my daughter made good use of the service table. There were donuts, cookies, and cupcakes and she sampled all the sweets. All of them. After we filled up plates, we went into the room and sat down. We were there 10 minutes and my daughter was already in heaven and not because of the band, but because the cupcakes were delicious.

Morgan Spurlock, the director for ‘This is Us,’ entered the room first for the interview and he pointed me out and said it’s nice to have a 1Ddad in the room. I didn’t inform him I was a new recruit. While the director of ‘Super Size Me’ answered questions about directing the guys, my daughter was bringing back super-sized plates of cookies. And who could blame her? She was an 8-year-old girl sitting in a room with a group of people talking to some guy she’s never heard of. And there was a giant display of cookies and cupcakes outside the door! I laughed inside every time she looked at me and raised her empty plate with a smile.

He exited and One Direction entered the room. This time, my daughter’s attention was captured. I tried to get her to ask a question, but she shook her head “no.” I was so happy to be with her. The guys were fantastic during the interview and they were funny and humble. After I interview someone, I always try to have a private conversation and thank them before I leave. I told my daughter to come with me and she hesitated, so I took her hand and brought her with me. I chatted briefly with Harry, Louis, and Niall and introduced them to my daughter. Each one shook her hand and spoke to her in a way that made me become a lifelong fan. As I write this now, I can clearly see the moment Harry bent down and asked my daughter questions about her life.

After we left the hotel, we waded through the thousands of fans. One fan reached out to snatch my daughter’s press pass that still dangled from her neck and I pulled my daughter close. I pocketed the press badge as fans yelled out their questions. We picked up our pace and fled the crowded street.

When I hear someone talk about One Direction, I bring up how I brought my daughter to an interview. And if anyone criticizes their songs, I stick up for them, and always end with, “They’re good guys.” And then I give them a dad look, letting them know to knock it off.

We’re still planning that kayak trip and it seems like every time we get close, something happens; like a coronavirus breakout. Hopefully, we’ll be paddling down the river soon, singing One Direction songs as we drift.

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