We took the kids out last night to Pandemonium: The Lost and Found Orchestra.
We were both hopeful that our boys would love the whole experience and worried that our youngest would completely sabotage such a huge production. We were given our tickets from the lovely Glynis Henderson who we hadn't seen in years, so we wanted to be on best behavior...
As ever, we failed at just a little at the planning stage. This time we forgot to check when the performance started and finished. The performance started at 8pm, which is when I try to have my boys at least on the road to bed. Last night they got to bed at 11pm; faces were washed, teeth were scrubbed but bath time was postponed.
To start with everything went well. The boys were excited to be going out and my 3yr old kept confirming with me that he was going out too and that there was no need for a sitter. They got dressed to impress, or at least not to un-impress. My youngest even broke one of his intransigent rules; he wore a jacket. Lynn got home on time, we left on time and arrived on time. So far so good.
Stress was starting to appear whilst we were in the crowd waiting at 'Will Call', but still all good.
Then we entered Royce Hall. The hall is absolutely amazing, it feels big and yet somehow enclosed. I overheard someone say that it's been recently refurbished, whilst my youngest shouted, "I don't like it! I want to go home!" I gave him cuddles and soft words and slowly we made our way to our seats.
In the 10 minutes we had before the show, my eldest nervously played with the folding chairs, my youngest repeated over and over, "I want to go HOME!" and Lynn tried to hold a conversation with Glynis who was sitting a few rows away.
From the moment the show started my eldest was mesmerized and I knew that what ever happened next, this trip was worth it. My youngest was immediately very scared, he hid behind his hands trying not to look saying,"Too scarey, I want to go home." Then when the music got louder he put his hands over his ears saying, "Too Loud!" I struggled to keep him quiet and was relieved when he wanted to move to Lynn's knee.
When the first piece finished and the audience stopped applauding, there was this amazing silence as the we all eagerly tried to anticipate the next sounds... "I WANT TO GO HOME!" was what everyone heard. Once he'd realized the effect he'd had, my beautiful son tried it out between each and every piece of the first half.
I'm so glad that the show was filled with humor and that audience was so forgiving. In the end, all his fear was slowly eroded and replaced with awe in the spectacle and sounds. We all had an amazing night. Right now I'm sure there's a bunch of 8 yr olds being bored with the details, and a bunch of 3 yr olds wondering why their pal keeps repeating, "music too loud, music too loud."
Poor planning can pay off in the end.