Day #11 Redefining Success

Last night, James and I ventured out to his first live music concert. There was a beautiful jazz pianist/vocalist visiting our town and she was to perform at the Arts Theatre at our local University. Check her out on YouTube – she’s amazing! Brenda Earle Stokes –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKYpkpzhz6k

There’s a few things that we need to do to prepare for an event such as this. First, James and I listened to some YouTube clips of the artist, then we looked at photographs of the University and the Arts Theatre we would be sitting in for the concert. Fortunately, I have a lovely friend who lectures in the Music Faculty at the University so we were advantaged by having visited her at work once before and also being shown around just before the concert began. Thanks Melissa xxx

James gets really concerned about time – how long something will last for, when it will finish. I had reassured him that the concert would go for about 75 minutes but that we could leave at any time if he needed to.

When we sat down he requested my iPhone and started the timer for 10 minutes. As the artist began to sing her first notes, he flipped the timer up to 30 minutes. We exchanged smiles! He requested gum which is a sign he is trying to self regulate. He was chewing a lot but he was OK! He loved the music which made my heart sing!

So when the timer got to 30 minutes, he leaned over and said, “Mum, will it hurt your feelings if we go now?” We left the theatre and sat down for a few moments just outside the theatre doors where we could still hear the music. I told him I was so proud of him for making it through his first live music concert.

I guess at this point, you could choose to focus on the fact that we didn’t make it through the night, that he was uptight and that leaving early meant it wasn’t successful. But it was actually the opposite! My baby is 9 and he attended his first live music concert with me! We lasted for thirty whole minutes during which time he didn’t cry, harm himself or become upset. For the thirty whole minutes we were there, he enjoyed himself and was so proud of himself for coming out with me, at night to a grown up concert. Although he struggled to make a departure from his usual night time routine (he generally really dislikes being out at night time), he pushed through that in order to try something different. He genuinely loved the music which warmed my heart as I am a musician myself and have longed for my boys to show some heart connection with something that brings me so much joy.

We made our way back to the car, chatting along the way. He was telling me how much he loved the piano and that he and I should sing songs together more (yay!). When we got into the car I thanked him for coming to the concert with me. He was still concerned that I might be sad about having to leave early as he knew I was really enjoying it. I replied that I was happy that we had shared the concert together for a whole thirty minutes and that we now had a really special memory to share. He said, “Thanks so much Mum – that was the best night of my life!” I agree James … it was a truly great night! I’m so proud of you xxx

James Theatre 2

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