Big Kid and Attila's Excellent Adventure
Last year, when Big Kid did really well on an exam, he asked me to buy him a pair of Tripp pants. Knowing how he was struggling, and wanting to encourage him to keep up the good work, I did, much to the dismay of my husband and of his father.
He took them when he went to visit his dad last summer, and the first time he wore them his dad called me up and said, "WTF are those?"
Yes, they are butt-ugly and scary to boot. I call them his "clown pants", because they are red. Hubby refuses to go anywhere with him when he wears them, so for the most part, the kid usually only wears them when he goes to concerts.
He's worked hard this semester so far (I just LOVE those new meds!), so that when an industrial/heavy metal band he adores was coming to town, I supposed we could work up a road trip to the big city. He'd sent an email to the lead singer on MySpace once, and the musician was gracious enough to respond.
In one class, all he has are exams and discussions. He got a 92 on his first exam, an 88 on his second, and 100% on all his discussions.
These have been the grades in his other class so far:
18 (out of 20)
28 (out of 30)
29 (out of 30)
The jelly sandwich was a nice touch. Indicate measurements to body and evidence.
39 (out of 40)
30 (out of 30)
38 (out of 40)
40 (out of 40)
He had to document and sketch a crime scene on Assignment 3. He used Hubby as the body and a remote control and a jelly sandwich as clues. ;-)
This time, instead of taking his trusty Uncle to the concert, he wanted to take a girl he'd been talking to. This presented some logistical problems.
1). We were planning on staying in a hotel, so we'd have to figure out sleeping arrangements, and
2). I really didn't like this girl very much. In my opinion, she was another one of those evil genies who toy with their suitors to see how far they can go in the "make them do stupid stuff" department while laughing their asses off with their friends.
He asked, she said yes, but I wondered how many days before the concert she'd ditch him, leaving him with no one to go with. With all the crap he struggles with, it would be nice if he could catch a break socially.
The biggest difficulty getting over was the venue. It was in a very very bad part of town. And the newscaster was predicting snow.
Although the city has been "Urban Renewaling" the area, and the venue was part of it, they haven't reached the surrounding areas yet, which you have to drive through to get there. I figured I could get them there when the doors opened, it would still be light, and they could call a cab from the vestibule when it was over to get back to the hotel.
The Big Kid was totally psyched. Me--not so much--because after last week, I was just counting all the things that could go wrong.
Sure enough, two days before the concert "the girl" stopped taking Big Kid's calls. He was totally stressing out, caught between the need to ask someone else (there was NO WAY I was going to allow him to go by himself), and the hope that at some point she'd call back and was still planning on going. He called his Uncle as a back-up, but unfortunately, my brother had to work.
The night before the concert, he hooked up with one of his buddies from military school who lives in the big city. Whew.
Unfortunately at the last minute, the blogging friend I was planning on getting together with became ill, so we didn't get to hook up. But we have each other's numbers now and have had a couple of really fabulous conversations, so it's just a matter of time!
The drive to the city was beautiful and clear. Big Kid was wearing his red clown pants with a black t-shirt. His friend walked out of his building wearing an identical pair of black clown pants and a black and red t-shirt. I did a double-take.
"We planned this!" my son laughed.
Are you serious? I asked. Doods do this? Coordinate outfits like girls?
We checked into the hotel, and the two of them went in the bathroom to "do" each other's hair into spikes. I'm serious!
They had the door open, so I heard some of the conversation. Took me back to my girlhood. snerk.
"I'm glad you're spiking my hair. My mom used to help me, but I don't think she knows how to do it the right way."
"Eyeliner? No, I don't have any. Ask my mom. She might have some in her purse."
I'm going to blog about this! I bellowed at them.
Then I discovered something ugly. WE FORGOT THE KID'S MEDS. eek
Turns out Big Kid's friend also has ADHD, but is unmedicated. Lovely. Two butterfly chasers out on the town in the big city in clown pants. I wrote down double addresses to the hotel, the venue, the phone numbers of cab company, hotel and my cell for them both to keep in their pockets when it came time to call the cab. And I had two stacks of cash.
I wrapped one stack in the paper with the numbers and gave it to Big Kid.
This is your cab fare. DO NOT SPEND THIS, and put it in a separate pocket.
I gave Big Kid the other stack.
This is your spending money to get a t-shirt, or a cd and some drinks. DO NOT PUT THIS in the same pocket with your cab fare.
Here is a cell phone. Call me as soon as you call the cab so I know you're on your way.
"Check. Look! A butterfly!"
Got your ID's?
DO NOT GET SEPERATED. Do NOT go wandering off in the neighborhood. Got it?
They unclipped all the chains from their pants so they could get into the concert, and off we went.
Only got a LITTLE lost on the way, and yes, it was dark and a bit scary. I dropped them off at the door and got about a few miles away when the phone rang.
"Mom! We're not on the 'Will Call' list!"
Dammit. I hate that "will call" thing (where you buy tickets over the phone with a credit card and they put them on a list at the door). There was no way I was going back and try to find parking to sort it out.
Use some of your cab money to get tickets at the door. CALL ME right before you get to the hotel so I can meet you at the front to pay the driver the rest of the money.
I stopped and picked up dinner at Arby's (they ate earlier) with some extras to keep in the suite fridge for after the show. Then I spent a nice quiet evening---no kids, no dogs, no phone calls---with a boatload of Snapple and a great book.
I drifted off in the middle of Saturday Night Live, and had a weird dream about camping in a rainstorm. Woke up with a wet face (guess I forgot to close my mouth when I fell asleep) and looked at the clock.
1:10 a.m. Holy crap! Where the heck were they?
I called the cell. No answer. Waited 10 more minutes and tried again. No answer. I started to panic a little bit.
Finally they called at 1:30. They had just called the cab company and were waiting to be picked up.
Still got your cab money? I'll meet you down in the lobby with the rest.
Turns out that when I told him that he could use some of the cab money to get the tickets, the two of them took it to mean I had unlimited cash in my purse and they could spend the rest. Or maybe they thought if you cranked my arm, bills would come flying out of my butt on wings.
I counted what I had left and dug through my purse for change. I had $37.00 and prayed it would be enough or that they would take checks or credit cards (the cab company up here in the mountains don't).
They pulled in at 2am, and I ran down to the lobby with the pockets of my jammy pants full of quarters. The driver rolled down his window and I looked at the meter. $36.60. No kidding. Not enough for a tip unless he'd take a couple of Roast Beef sandwiches and curly fries.
Please, do you take credit cards?
He did, thank heavens.
While he was writing it all up, I asked my little freakazoids how the concert was.
"Mom---it was so great! We got to sit in the dressing room with the band!!"
Did they make you torture any animals back there?
"No, no---Mom I got all their autographs!!"
Did they sacrifice any babies?
The cab driver was staring at me with his mouth hanging open. I winked at him and he grinned.
Turns out the lead singer remembered the email exchange with my son and gave them both after-party tickets when the kid introduced himself after the show. Since both boys were under 21 and didn't have wheels, they weren't able to go. So the guy invited them down to the dressing room to hang out with the band, who by all reports were very nice. They spent a blissful 30 minutes or so yakking about music.
As we were walking back into the hotel, Big Kid stopped me.
"Mom? Can I talk to you?"
Oy. Please don't tell me you've taken ecstasy or something.
"This was one of the best nights of my whole life!"
Makes it worth it, doesn't it?