I had rehearsed a story in my head yesterday. (Thanks to Alan over at The Writing Project, I became more aware of that rehearsal we tend to do). It was about the joy of getting together with family.
However, I was not able to make the post yesterday, due to sitting in a bar for four-and-a-half hours. One of those old wood floor, don't leave your hand on the table too long for fear of what lingers there, type of bars. But don't create the image of a broken teacher, whom the stress of the job has driven her to nurse one drink after the other, while pouring out her woes to the barkeep. I, we, were there to support my oldest step-grandson on open mic night. What an experience.
Earlier in the day, with the luxury of Spring Break, I had invited my three grown children and one's girlfriend to join me for lunch. We ate, caught up, joked, teased, waxed nostalgically and savored the time away from our usual busy schedules. As we left, a plan was made to see if we could get away, yet again today, to attend the open mic and be a part of the audience for said grandson.
Some important information is that my grandson is sixteen years old and the "band" has existed, in one form or another, for a short period of time. What was ahead for us...we did not know. But being the troopers we are and looking for a way to encourage this budding interest in music, we forged on.
With respect to my grandson, he is in that teen-age era where they frequently morph into different personae. And once again, this latest genre caught me off guard. The hair, clothing, jewelry. Underneath it all, is the same boy we've enjoyed for years. Tonight he was extremely nervous. Their first performance.
For some reason, unknown to us, they were slated for the last gig, despite his mother getting him and their equipment there by the six o'clock sign up. We had naively anticipated a seven o'clock performance and were not too upset at hearing it would be eight o'clock. Still time for those who had to work tomorrow to get home for sleep.
But then the word came that their time would be midnight. Really? Midnight for a group of kids? It is Spring Break, but come on. And on a more personal level we were thinking...What am I going to do while I wait for hours? Run an errand and return? Most were too tired to multitask. So we settled in.
Every fifteen minutes a new act performed. We watched a smorgasbord of rock, hip hop, acoustic and on and on and on. We'd look at our watches and announce just how much longer we had to wait, some anticipating a very early wake up and a long day of work. I slowly sipped a dark ale.
At the heart of it we were there to support the band, but we all experience a treasure in our coming together like this. Once again today, we took the time to talk, joke, look back, look forward, and enjoyed each others company. Maybe not the time or place of our choice, but a treasure is a treasure.
The boys performed in outfits that later in life they will look back and exclaim, "What was I thinking?" The music was surprisingly good. Very good, if you like loud guitar screeches and boys yelling. Some family and friends stood right up at the stage, seeming to be supporting them physically. I observed from the back, so proud of everyone. So very proud.