Sunday, February 13, 2011

Concert Night

Tonight, I'm taking my 17-year-old son to his first pop concert. We're going to see Miranda Cosgrove, of iCarly fame, and I suspect that he and his 19-year-old best buddy will be the only non-tween-girls among the fans. My guy has had a massive crush on Miranda for years, and is pretty excited that he'll be in the same room with her. Not sure if he understands that he's not going to be actually personally hanging out with her, but once we get there, I'm sure he'll be too overwhelmed by the loud music and high-pitched screams of his fellow audience members to feel too badly about it.

I remember the first concert I took my daughter to -- Aaron Carter, in a big outdoor arena. We were on the seat-free grass in the back, and even there the music was SO VERY LOUD that my daughter, rattled by the bass vibrations, actually sat on my lap and put my arms around her, something that she had pretty strong boundaries about under normal circumstances. That was a good concert.

Tonight, I just hope we make it through without one or both of the guys having to flee to the lobby. Concerts can be kind of an overwhelming experience, in a good way if you can lose yourself in the crowd and the music, in a bad way if you don't have the sensory skills or the emotional resiliency to handle noise and vibrations and jostling and crowd dynamics. I was a little surprised that my son's friend's mom let him come with us -- it's his first concert, too, and she's at least as overprotective as me -- and while I'm excited for them to have this experience together, being responsible for two young men with special needs in an unpredictable situation is a little daunting. 

But just now, my son came in, huge smile on his face, and said, "Today's the day I see my love." So that's the kind of thing that makes it all worth it. If he had a more organized mother, maybe I would have gotten online to buy tickets while there were still meet-and-greet tickets available, and he could have actually had a handshake and a photo with his fantasy celebrity girlfriend. Or maybe I could have pulled some special-needs strings, written letters about my special son and how much it would mean to him to actually meet Miranda. As it is, I got the tickets so late that I wound up being gouged by a broker and sent tickets that look like copies of somebody else's computer printouts, so the closest we get to the concert may be pressing our ears to the outside wall of the auditorium.

That's just my worry reflex, though -- most likely everything will go fine, he'll have his first concert experience, he'll be close enough to see his girlfriend but not so close that he actually has to put words together in her presence, both boys will have a memorable experience, and I'll be able to cross a milestone off the list. Wish us good luck tonight. And, um, hey, Miranda, if you're reading this, keep an eye out for the floppy-haired boy in Row P. He's way sweet on you.


Terri Mauro blogs at Parenting Special Needs and Parenting Isn't Pretty. She has two terrific kids, a 20-year-old with learning and language disabilities and a 17-year-old with FASD, both adopted from Russia in 1994.


  1. Good luck Terri to you and your son on your first concert experience! We are a long way from being ready for that, just yet...truthfully, I'm terrified. I will be anxious to hear all about it.

  2. It worked out just fine. We all had fun. It was actually fairly perfect for a first concern for kids with neurological differences -- short, not horribly loud, lots of really young kids wandering around, nothing very racy or dangerous. Kind of an intermediary step between something like Sesame Street Live and a full-fledged pop concert. Miranda was, as expected, cute as a button. My son said it was the best night of his life, and his buddy (who didn't know who Miranda was before this) also seemed to have a good time. Milestone accomplished!