On Sunday we dropped T off with his grandparents, then Nate, S, and I drove up to Chicago. We had tickets to a Dan Zanes concert (or dance party, as he likes to call his performances). S and I are crazy about Dan Zanes (I can't speak for Nate), so we were pretty excited to see him in person. Our seats were great, and we got there just in time. When DZ walked out on stage, S's eyes went wide, his mouth formed a gigantic smile, and he slowly started clapping and wooing along with the crowd. It was a beautiful moment, it really was.
After the first song, all the little people started filing down to the front of the room. S got right in the mix. Nate and I would try to keep an eye on him. Sometimes he was jumping, sometimes holding on to the edge of the stage, gazing up in the sweetest starstruck way.
About 2/3 of the way through the concert (30 minutes, maybe), S got tired and came out of the fray. He came and sat down with us, told us he was thirsty, and left the auditorium with Nate in search of a drink. When they came back, I learned that the concession stand/bar/whatever had apple juice, but only accepted cash. Of course we had none. This turn of events was very upsetting for S. An epic meltdown ensued. Sobbing, throwing himself on the ground, refusing to be comforted.
Nate went to look for an atm. While he was gone, I attempted to console S. He calmed down, but clearly wasn't enjoying the concert. I tried to point out the funny dances people were doing (onstage and in the audience). I made animal noises along with all the kids and encouraged him to join in. Not interested. He was waiting for Nate, watching the doors, thinking only of apple juice. Nate came back with bad news. No atm, no cash, no juice. It was a breakdown all over again. We decided it was time to go. Dan Zanes was playing the last song, so it wasn't like we left early. But I did feel like S completely missed the last part of the show.
Our next plan was to meet some friends at the Plymouth cafe, nearby the theatre. The timing was pretty screwed up, which was my fault. We arrived at 3, and I had told friends to come by at 3:30. Then, while waiting, we found out that the cafe closed at 4. Doh. We called everybody and said we'd have to try again next time. I was sad not to see Chicago people. But it was a relief to be able to leave. S had been miserable at the restaurant since we sat down (or, at least since he finished his tall glass of apple juice), complaining of being tired and having a stomach ache.
S fell asleep on the car ride home. I felt really bummed about how the day turned out. I guess my expectations for the trip were too high. I imagined an idyllic day, a special day that would let us spend quality time with S and create some great memories. The day started off perfectly, exactly as I had envisioned, but took a serious dive that I had not anticipated. It was a frustrating experience and also just plain sad to return home with such a miserable little boy.
So, the day was kind of tough. It was also a pretty accurate reflection of how things have been around here lately. S has been incredibly emotional. He's been volatile in a way I haven't seen for probably a year. We can have blue skies, blue skies, then out of no where, the storm clouds roll in, all time-lapse style, and pour down on all of us. My diagnosis is that he is nervous about the move. We talk about it a lot, and he changes his mind a lot. Some days he cries about not wanting to leave this house. Other days he is ready to go. So we have overt stress about the move, which we talk about and try to work through. Then we have the stress that manifests itself in roller-coaster emotions and even frequent stomach aches. I am feeling for this kid, I really am. I know he'll be okay, he'll survive. For his sake, though, I wish we could somehow skip these next few weeks and just be in our new house already. Rip that bandaid off. He is clearly in distress over it, and I don't know how to help him (barring time travel). I wish I did.
On Monday, S seemed to be appreciative of the trip and we smiled and chatted about the concert. He even seemed a little apologetic. I think he will have some fond memories of our trip to see Dan Zanes, after all. And, if nothing else, we love the new Father Goose cd we bought while we were there.
Dan Zanes Video Love. Click Any Word. XOXOXO.