Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Even though my birthday is in September and I knew about my present in August, my gift arrived last Thursday evening sandwiched between two trips up to Mayo Clinic for chemo treatments. As noted in an earlier post, my daughter and I have been long time fans of the singing group Celtic Thunder. This past Wednesday Kylynn and I made our way down to my sister's house in Tennessee and on Thursday evening we took our places in the front row of a Celtic Thunder concert. Yes, front row, that was my gift. Well, that and being able to share the experience with my little Aria, and what an experience it was!
Kylynn and I arrived in down town Nashville quite early before the 7:30 performance so we set off for a bit of a walk around the area to see what we could see. The concert was at the TPAC, The Tennessee Performing Arts Center, and as we walked around the building Kylynn was quick to spy the Celtic Thunder equipment trucks parked in the loading dock. Kylynn was excited about seeing the trucks and would have likely enjoyed watching them being unloaded, but being that they were parked inside a garage like structure watching was not possible. So we continued around the building. Turning the corner we were greeted with the sight of all of the tour buses lined parked along the side of the building. I explained to Kylynn that the guys were on those buses and she literally stopped in her tracks and stared. "Damian is on one of those buses?", my little girl asked in amazement. (Damian is Kylynn's favorite in the group) I told her that indeed he likely was and this started Kylynn wondering what Damian might be doing right then as we were walking by. Of course, knowing that she was in such close proximity to 5 people that she idolizes also made Kylynn quite nervous and she asked if we could move away from the buses. And so we continued our stroll around the area.
This part of our walk took us into a bit of a surprise and our only non-Celtic Thunder related part of our evening. Kylynn and I decided to try to find a place to sit and rest for a bit and this led us to some benches that are located across the street from the Hermitage Hotel. As we settled ourselves we noticed a group of about 5-6 people standing across the street from the hotel holding multiple hockey related items, wearing New Jersey Devils jerseys, and staring at the entrance to the hotel as if waiting for something. My little brother, Jeff, is a huge Devils fan and, consequently, so is Kylynn. She recognized the jerseys right away and asked what the people were doing. Now, I enjoy hockey but I had no idea if the Devils were in town for a game or not, so I got on the phone. I tried my brother first and got no answer so I called my sister, Amy. She looked it up and indeed the Devils were in town for a game that evening. So we sat and watched the people who were watching the hotel. Within about 10 minutes 5-6 men in suits emerged from the hotel and the Devils fans descended upon them. I don't know the players by sight, I tend to need them in uniform with their names across their backs to recognize them, but by the actions of the others I was fairly certain we were looking at some of Jeff's and Kylynn's favorite players. We had nothing really for them to sign and Kylynn was being shy about going over by them, but we had a good time watching. And then Kylynn said, "Maybe they're here to see Celtic Thunder!" I told her that I was fairly certain that they were here to play a hockey game, but her comment made me laugh. By this time the sun was starting to go down, we were becoming a bit chilly, and so we set off to get our coats from the car and eat some dinner.
After eating it was about time to head to the theatre for the show. We were still early and this provided us with time for Kylynn to dance around the lobby of the TPAC with her curls bouncing, proclaiming herself an Irish dancer and then when it got too crowded for that, for us to work our way through the line and purchase Kylynn a program and a couple of posters. Purchases in hand, we made our way into the theatre and found our seats. Wow! I knew our seats were good, but wow! Kylynn just stared at the stage with amazement for quite some time. When she finally did speak it was to ask if the guys were going to be right there, right in front of us, almost close enough to touch. I told her that yes, they were going to be right there and that she would be able to see them really well and that they would be able to see her. She enjoyed that thought for a bit but then became a little nervous. My Kylynn some times, and I don't know why, gets nervous about getting attention from people who she really does want attention from. In any case, soon the lights were dimming and the show was about to start.
Kylynn climbed up on my lap as the first notes of "Heartland" rolled over us, her eyes wide with anticipation. As soon as the guys walked out on stage I felt Kylynn jump a little and then she turned her face up to me and whispered, "Damian is right there, Mommy. He's so close." And the look on Kylynn's face when the guys walked up to the edge of the stage for the first time was just priceless.