Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, indeed.
While I haven't quite escaped the clutches of difficult, things mostly went according to plan and on May 20, I had a Very Good Day.
I haven't had computer access since Monday, so there's some catching up to do.
(The tractor semi-non-sequitur was courtesy of Blogger allowing me to schedule posts days beforehand, which I thought was rather clever.)
I'll start with the sweetest moment of my time away.
Very last minute, someone contacted me about a front row ticket to the show in Moline, IL, on Tuesday. After running around and changing plans and negotiating and all that, I got on a plane at 6:45 am, Tuesday morning and flew to Chicago and then flew to Moline in a teeny tiny jet.
(Remember I hate being off the ground. I don't even like Ferris wheels. But this is my birthday week, and I'd already decided that the show last night, which *was* my birthday, was my gift for this year. So I just made it a really good gift).
Everything ran late, and I was nothing short of ebullient when I finally got to Moline.
[Insert massive rave about show. They're always great, but this was one of those truly amazing performances. I can talk about that later, though.]
Just before the last song of the encore, I felt a little tap on my arm. There was a little boy, maybe eight years old, standing at my elbow, asking if he could stand in front of me at the rail. I smiled and nodded emphatically. He was having so much fun; it was great to watch. At the end of the show, he received a guitar pick, which he bore back to his father triumphantly.
I said goodbye to the friends I'd seen at the show, and apologized once more to the security guard I'd elbowed in the head during "Digital Man," a huge bear of a man, who was very nice to us the whole show (and he was fan!). As I turned to leave, I saw the little boy, looking fairly overwhelmed, and his father, and I said, "Hey, kiddo, how about a high five, 'cause that was pretty cool!" and held my hand out to him. He gave me a high five, and thanked me for letting him stand there, and his father thanked me, too, effusively. I was a little embarrassed because to me it was a no-brainer, such a small thing, and the boy was very polite and sweet, and I'm a mom, for Pete's sake. Then the little guy came over and hugged me, saying again, "Thank you SO much."
I almost cried.
With the exception of holding my own 10-year-old daughter on my hip last July while she swayed to the music, that was the best concert moment to date.
What I did was nothing; what that little boy gave to me in his hug was everything.
Go listen to some good music: "Runnin' Down a Dream" from the album Greatest Hits by Tom Petty.