Monday, April 27, 2009

Fearless....

Well, the weekend I had been anticipating for over two months finally arrived....and it was great!



As we left our house on Saturday, Miss L only knew that we were going to St. Louis and we were going to do something special for her birthday. Even on the ride up there she tried to break her Aunt Sissy and I down, pleading for us to tell her.

Miss L was getting tired of all the secrecy....I mean literally tired.





And Aunt Sissy and I....well, we were just giddy with excitement. Can adults be giddy? If so, we were. If not, we must not be adults.



Let me explain a little of our excitement to you. Late last summer Miss L was in the living room playing while I was watching music awards. (I am not aware of her having any previous exposure to Taylor Swift unless it was on the radio, and she if she paid anymore attention to her songs than she did any other, I didn't notice.) As Taylor starting singing "Should've Said No", Miss L literally stopped what she was doing, stood in the middle of the floor and watched her performance. After the performance was over she told me to rewind it (on our DVR) and she wanted to watch it again. And again. And again. Again. Again. Again.

We ended up recording it and she would watch it daily. Multiple times.


When coming home at night she would tell me to turn on Taylor Swift, "Should've Said No", "the one with her singing in the rain and she gets wet". Before she went to bed at night she would tell me to turn on Taylor Swift, "the one with her singing in the rain and she gets wet." At that time I am not sure why she specifically asked for "the one with her singing in the rain and she gets wet", but at that time, that is the only thing we had recorded.


Apparently the song, Taylor, and the water, made a big impact.


Since that time, any appearance, any performance, any song on the radio, any interview, anything that pertained to Taylor Swift warranted immediate attention and, of course, had to be recorded to be watched OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

She is the only thing that Miss L has ever been consumed with.


She even had me scrunch her hair so that it could be "curly like Taylor's". For Halloween, she was even, "Taylor Swift the pirate..?????"


Santa brought CD's and they were listened to over and over and over and over. She would sing songs by heart and memorized most lyrics. And if they weren't the actual lyrics, they were the lyrics as interpreted by Miss L.


It was HER excitement about Taylor Swift that created OUR excitement about Taylor Swift. And there was a lot of excitement.


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We had wanted to wait until we got to the concert to let her in on what was going on, but it became immediately apparent that was not going to work. As we were checking into our hotel there was a small girl in front of us carrying Taylor's Fearless CD. We knew that there would be too many things to give it away and decided to tell her once we got to the room.



Only a king suite was available and I assured the man behind the desk that it would be fine because we were sister and Miss L was ours. Yeah. Not sure where that came from. Apparently I am not giving Steven any credit and my sister is now my co-parent. After we laughed at how odd that was and how naturally it came out, we headed off to our room.



Funny that we waited until we got to the room because two adults, with camera's, capturing her reaction in the middle of a hotel lobby would just be too weird, but two adult women laughing about the fact that we were sharing a king suite because the six year old was ours, was not weird to us at all.
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Once in the room we had her sit on the bed and we told her. I took pictures and Aunt Sissy recorded her.


Of course, there was no jumping and screaming.

I didn't expect it.

It isn't her style.

Because, Miss L, for some reason, is not made like that.


When we told her she acted just exactly like I thought she would:


She smiled. A BIG SMILE.


And then, in true Miss L style, she tucked her chin, almost as if she was embarrassed that we were showering her with this news, this attention, this excitement....and not to mention the two cameras in her face.


She recovered and then leaned back on her arms, taking it all in.


She then said, "I guessed it you know...."


This statement made me start laughing. Yes, she guessed it. Right along with guessing that we were taking her to get ice cream, bowl, roller skate, fly kites.....you name it. And the best part? When she guessed it, the guess was sandwiched in between guesses about buying an animal and riding in an airplane and followed by laughter about the absurdity and impossibility of her guess.



I told her that she indeed guessed it but never believed it to be true. And with that, she agreed.


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Of course, after she recovered from the shock it became of utmost importance that we get ready and GO! Right then! The fact that it was over three hours before the concert and we were two blocks away had no relevance what so ever.



Aunt Sissy and I rounded up and Miss L changed to get ready for the concert. She was so thankful that I thought to pack her Taylor Swift t-shirt.



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After we convinced her that we might be jumping the gun by arriving this early, we decided to go eat at the Hard Rock Cafe because Miss L wanted to experience it.



Or maybe Miss L had NO IDEA what the Hard Rock Cafe was and could care less.



Maybe, just maybe, it was actually because her mother remembers being in high school and seeing all the t-shirts and not knowing what on the earth "Hard Rock Cafe" was and feeling left out because of it. Maybe I wanted Miss L to be privy to this important part of American Culture before she was 27 years old (unlike me).



DON'T JUDGE ME.



I may be living vicariously but I am not stupid. When they told us that the wait was 2 hours, we snapped a pic or two and headed on. American Culture or not....2 hours is 2 hours. No atmosphere is THAT good.


We grabbed a couple of slices of pizza and started making our way towards the venue.



Not knowing that we were heading towards the wrong side of the Scottstrade Center, we actually walked up on the parked tour buses (I think there were 9 of them) and the semi-trucks (I think there were 7 of them).

We waited for awhile hoping that we might catch a glimpse of Miss Swift, but we didn't.



Once inside Aunt Sissy thought that Miss L NEEDED the glow stick with Taylor's name on it.



And then, I, having quite a collection of concert tee's myself, decided that Miss L needed one to commemorate her first concert experience. Despite the fact that the line was atrocious, I put Miss L on my shoulders and forged ahead. You see, I once avoided the long line at a concert tee stand and didn't get a Bon Jovi "Lost Highway" tour shirt...I still regret that.



As a mom, I know she is too young to have to shoulder that type of regret and mental burden. Because, ya know, I am cool like that and I understand that type of anguish.


We found our seats and waited. Miss L didn't understand that the new group, Gloriana, was first and they were followed by Kellie Pickler. Then, and only then, would we see Taylor.
She was a wee bit impatient, but have I mentioned how much she loves Taylor?
I have to say that both Gloriana and Kellie Pickler were very good. I think Kellie Pickler is a sincere person and you can feel her emotion when she sings.
But Miss L, well she was closing in on her normally scheduled bed time and she really just wanted to see Taylor. Can you tell?
I think that look on her face was concern that this was possibly a farce and that Taylor really wasn't coming. It wasn't long before it became apparent that Taylor would be up soon and Miss L decided she was "feeling it" and started dancing to the music.....I mean REALLY dancing. In our row, in the aisle....she was a dancing fool. I wonder where she gets that?
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And then the moment arrived. The lights dimmed, the curtain started rising, and I don't think that Miss L's eyes could have gotten any wider. And I don't think the smile on MY face could have gotten any bigger!
This is what she saw:
Taylor opened with her song, "You belong with me". She was dressed as a band majorette and was raised up out of the floor of the platform. The front of the platform was made to look like lockers and cheerleaders did flips and cheers out in front.
For those of you who are not familiar with her or her songs, I am pleased that this is who my daughter has chosen to look up to. This song is only one of many that points out that you do not have to be like everyone else. You do not have to conform.
"She wears high heels, I wear sneakers, she's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers...."
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Every song was theatrical and filled with passion for the music. Many were preceded by videos, some containing stars, some just containing poignant messages that everyone, not just children, need to hear and be reminded of. And some, well some were just funny and entertaining.
During one song Taylor appeared in the audience and made her way down to the center of the floor were she performed "Fifteen". It was particularly heartfelt and moving. Miss L kept saying "Let's go down there and take our picture with her. Let's go down there and talk to her. Let's go."
Come to find out, explaining to a six year old why you can't do those things is very difficult.
My sister and I were impressed early on. We liked Taylor before coming to the concert, but wondered how exactly she would be "live".
It was great and it greatly surpassed our expectations. Of course, she sealed the deal with my sister when she incorporated Justin Timberlakes' "What Goes Around" into her song, "You're Not Sorry". Because like me, Sarah probably didn't expect to see Taylor rapping while playing the piano, but was equally impressed that she did. She more than pulled it off..... In fact, I think that her song sounded like it was meant to be sung that way.
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Miss L had been battling a sinus infection and I had been giving her Benadryl. When combining those two circumstances with the fact that is was 2 1/2 hours after her "regularly scheduled" bedtime, she was definitely starting to bottom out. Her eyes were getting so heavy and she was struggling to stay alert.
But as Taylor explained, every little girl wants to believe in the fairy tale. When that fairy tale(and "Love Story') is being re-enacted onstage, it is hard for little girls, and big girls, not to watch.
Doesn't every girl dream of being a princess in a castle???

Miss L was so enchanted by the castle and amazed at how the stage kept transforming before her eyes.
The stage AND Taylor. One minute renaissance dress and next flowing white gown, same song....without missing a beat.
And then came the final song. The grand finale.
Much to Miss L's (ok, ok, Miss L's and Aunt Sissy's and my) delight it was indeed the song that started it all for us, "Should've Said No."
This time there were drums/barrels added into the theatrical element of the show,
Oh, yes, drums/barrels and rain. The very performance that started this all was the same performance that wrapped it up. The excitement and wonder was written all over Miss L's face.
And again, it was me who couldn't stop smiling.


Even though Miss L kept saying that this was the "best birthday present ever" I know in my heart that the gift was actually given to me. This experience is one that I will never forget.
Even though she is only six, maybe when she is say, fifteen, and mom isn't quite as cool, I hope that Miss L always remembers my love, and the love of the rest of her family, and how it was that love that was behind this weekend, and this experience.
Yeah, I hope she remembers THAT. I know I will.
"In your life you'll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team.....I didn't know it at fifteen". -Fifteen, Taylor Swift

(I apologize that blogger seems to be pushing my paragraphs together. Sorry if it is hard to read.)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was a wonderful weekend and I hope that there are many more to come!

~Aunt Sissy a.k.a Sharn Jean

The Sour Kraut said...

Thank you for the wonderful, step-by-step account of your adventure. It was just what I was hoping you'd do. I'm so happy you all had such a great time. You're right, she'll remember this always.

(Love the picture of Miss L with her arms behind her head.)

The Sour Kraut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mama Goose said...

SO awesome! Thanks for the recap - what an amazing experience for you all.

ExamBo said...

What a great post!! I was waiting with excitement to read how the concert weekend went. It sounds like ALL of you had a great time. What a wonderful 6th birthday.

Marlana said...

You are definitely one cool mom! I can only imagine that Miss L was thrilled beyond belief. I could definitely hear some excitement in her voice today. :) She is so lucky to get to have such a wonderful experience. I'm glad you had fun, too. You have great perspective on the entire experience.

The Next Phase said...

It was so great to hear all about your weekend! I can't wait to do something like this with my children. You are an amazing mother.