B looked on and was just as excited as L to "relive" this adventure with her.
As we finished going through all the pictures, as serious as could be, B looked at me and said, "Are you going to take your camera when we go see Brad Paisley in June?"
Um. Ugh.... Um. Well.....
You see, apparently it was crystal clear to him. Brad Paisley because that is his favorite singer and June because that is his birthday month - that is how it worked with L, right? Taylor Swift in April?
Steven and I discussed this possibility and what he thought of it. I was unsure as to whether B was actually ready for the concert experience. He doesn't like loud noises, he isn't a big fan of dark places that is unfamiliar with AND he is 4.
Yes, I realize that in a few weeks he will be five, but for now......he is 4.
L was six when I first took her to see Taylor Swift.
That is a big difference.
Or at least, I thought it was.
Steven, however, explained that B didn't see the difference and felt that it was now his turn. It wasn't that I didn't want to take him, I just wanted him to enjoy it when I did.
As it turned out, I found tickets, not it June, but on May 30th. (Close enough, right?) Also, it was an outside venue, so the "dark" factor wouldn't be as much of an issue.
Steven was staying home with L, as we both agreed that this was B's time to be the sole child receiving the attention and being made to feel as special as we believe he is. The fact that Steven doesn't really enjoy the concert experience was just another reason he opted out.
My sister was again on board as she has been for the past two Taylor Swift trips. Her husband liked Brad Paisley and decided to go as well.
All this was kept a secret until a little past noon on Saturday. B and I met Sarah and Jason and loaded up and hit the road. It was only then that he asked, "Where ARE we going?"
So I asked him, "Where do you think we are going?"
"Hmmm......to see race cars?"
"Nope", I said, "guess again."
We all laughed. I told him he was shooting too low. "Where have you been wanting to go...and asking me about....for a couple of months now?"
This was followed by a big smile, and the answer we all knew:
"To see BRAD PAISLEY!"
On our tickets there was no mention of the concert time. The only time that was listed was 4:00 p.m.
This was when the doors opened.
We arrived a little after 3:00 p.m. and didn't want to go to the hotel for fear that we wouldn't get back in time.
As it would turn out, that wouldn't be an issue.
The line looked to be a half a mile long and since we had actual seats, instead of lawn seats, we didn't feel the need to stand in the sun just to wait.
B, however, was ready to partake in the action. Even if the action consisted of standing in line.
With 15 minutes to go before the doors opened, we took our place in line. A much shorter line, thanks to Verizon Wireless.
Totally worth it.
We sat down on some grass and ate our popcorn and drank our lidless/strawless (Thank you lawsuits!) coke. Music started playing and we moved to a stage that was sat up near the front gate and watched both Josh Thompson and Easton Corbin perform.
B sat on Jason's shoulders and took it all in.
Considering it was roughly 90 degrees in the shade, Jason was probably nice and toasty.....but neither he, or B, complained. (I enjoyed their shade, though.)
Since I am a firm believer that a concert experience isn't a concert experience without a concert tee, we headed over to the t-shirt stand in efforts to locate a shirt for B.
Shockingly they didn't carry size 4T shirts.
I found this amazing since there were at least three other children there at the concert.
I decided that possibly a concert experience wasn't a concert experience without a concert ball cap might be my new motto. However, B, definitely his mother's son, went with the shirt.
The TOO big, size 'XL youth', concert t-shirt.
He told me that he would "get a lot of wear out of it because it would probably fit for a couple of years."
In that moment, I decided that he was definitely his father's son.
Or maybe just quite the mixture of both of us.
We headed to our seats.
It was then that we found out that the main concert didn't start until 7:30.
Since up until that point our diet had consisted of a half eaten tub of popcorn, coke and cotton candy, I decided to get some real food into B's belly.
Of course, by real food, I mean a corn dog, or nachos, or a slice of pizza or a big tub of lard.
B chose pizza and we got in line a waited.
B, who is intent on trying to sound out words, was trying to figure out the word, "Pizzeria". I helped him and he said, "Pizzeria?.......Like diarrhea?" The hoards of college age girls we were surrounded by thought he was a riot.
I, however, was just hoping that he wasn't on to something.
Justin Moore took the stage and B took it all in.
During the break we ran to the bathroom (no, not from the pizza - just the coke) and by the time we returned, Darius Rucker had taken the stage.
My sister and I loved singing along and when, before closing his set, he said, "Since this is the H2O tour I am going to do something different....." it only a took a few notes for my sister and I to look at each other and then jump to our feet. We knew the song, we knew the version, we knew the words.
He sang it -We rocked it:
The anticipation was building when Brad took the stage and the huge screen behind him had many different vibrant graphics.
B, however, noticed that Brad was playing his blue guitar which happened to be his favorite.
Commenting on Brad's guitar was pretty much the only thing B said for the next 1.5-2 hours.
He was transfixed.
Midway through the show I noticed that a blue tarp that had been covering a platform located about 10 feet from us had been removed. The row in front of us that had been completely vacant up until the time Brad took the stage was now filled with people who were seat shifting.
I had no qualms about moving their butts out of my way in order to get B to that stage.
I crawled over the seat, lifted B into my arms and walked right to it. I would like to think that they knew better than to get in my way, because they just stood to the side.
However, it might also be because they were so drunk that they didn't even realize what was going on.
Either way, we made it to the stage.
Brad climbed up on the stage, finished singing his song, then sat down on a seat shaped like a diving board and looked right at B, waved to him and said, "Hey Buddy!".
B, on the other hand, stared back at Brad with not so much of a smile on his face. He was a deer in headlights, unable to so much as wave back.
Jason said that B's hands were up in the air, yet limp, much like Rickey Bobby on Talladega Nights. ....."I don't know what to do with my hands."
It was almost like B didn't know whether to clap or reach out and shake his hand.
Before Brad left to go back to the main stage, he threw down two guitar picks in front of B. I took one and put it in my pocket and shared the other with a mother who was there with her two boys and had initially motioned me in closer to the stage.
At 11 p.m. as we were heading to the car, I asked B, "Did you like it? Was it fun? You haven't said much......"
To which he replied, "IT WAS AWESOME!........ Next year I want to go again!"
And then he didn't stop talking for another hour and a half.
Sunday we slowly got around and B put on his swimming trunks. We had ran out of time the night before and we had promised him that he could swim.
So, at 9 am, we could be found out by the hotel pool, while B, floated around.
A promise is a promise is a promise.......
It didn't take him long to decide that the water was cold and he was hungry.....
We headed to the arch. B had seen pictures of it when we had taken L to St. Louis for her concert trip. He was intrigued and wanted to check it out.
He took it all in with fascination and wanted to ride to the top......but there are some things THIS momma doesn't do and THAT is one of them.
However, THIS momma will pose just like B on the steps in front of the arch because he asked her too - Even if it was at an unflattering angle.
We couldn't leave without B getting to put his feet in the "Muddy Mississippi". After much assurance that it was OK, and that it was "safe", he threw all caution to the wind and 'dove' in.
OK. So, maybe B 'stepped in'. Same difference, right?
I asked him what else he would like to do in St. Louis before we headed home. He informed me that he had never been to St. Louis before and needed to know what his "options were".
So we decided on going to Union Station. B has a fascination with trains and wanted to see what was left of the station.
We read all the historical information to him and he took it all in. I knew Steven would do a much better job of explaining things to him and vowed that we would have to come as a family to St. Louis and revisit the station.
Since eating was the only other thing on B's list, we decided we would just eat there in the station at the Hard Rock Cafe.
B ordered their specialty, Macaroni and Cheese. All this time I thought that they were "known for their burgers".
While waiting for Aunt Sissy and Jason we fed the fish.......
and made a wish in a wishing well.......
....and B told me his wish.
His wish? He wants to be a train driver when he grows up.
I don't believe what they say about the wish not coming true if you tell.
Sharing your hopes and dreams with people is part of the journey of making those dreams a reality.
And then, as we were leaving, B decided he wanted to do something that I would have never dreamed he would have wanted to do.
You see, my B, well.....he is cautious. And deliberate. He is a worrier and he doesn't take chances and he doesn't like risk. He needs assurance that all is well and my sister thinks he needs meds.
I think he is just, unfortunately, old beyond his years and lacks the carefree mentality that generally comes with youth.
In that, he takes after his mother.
B decided that he wanted to jump on the trampline with the pulley and the bungee cords.
Although he has a trampoline at home, doing something this extreme is completely out of character for my boy.
Jason was nervous that this experience was going to go south - and fast - so he ducked into a nearby store, not wanting to see what was about to happen.
In a surge of determination he took off his shoes and stepped onto the trampoline and towards the young man running the show.
(Considering that the night before he shied away from giving 'high fives' to people he didn't know- partly because of shyness and partly because of his fear of germs - this was progress.)
So with my heart swelling and beating out of my chest, I waited to see his reaction as he jumped higher.....
If you look closely, you can see what I saw: a huge smile, full of wild abandonment, spread across his face.
If only for a moment, my B, was carefree.
Carefree or worried.
Contemplating or complaining.
Even when I think it isn't humanly possible to love him more, with every beat of my heart, and every beat of his, I do.
"We'll look back someday, at this moment that we're in.....and I'll look at you and say, "And I thought I loved you then." ~ Then, Brad Paisley