Sunday, February 8, 2009

Symphony = Loaner Son.

It’s always busy in Stewartville. This weekend we were awarded with one of our very favorite excursions: The Birmingham Symphony and Concert Chorale. The reason that we have a Loaner Son at all is due to this wonderful combination of music and singing that results in occasional performances at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center on UAB campus. Mrs. Loaner Son is a singer in the Birmingham Concert Chorale. We are certain that she is one of the best singers in the whole group. She must be. This is actually how she and I became such good friends years ago—I got the family ticket for her performances. I was the single girl at work who loves classical music. I was the boring geek girl who’d willingly give up a night at a bar for a night living the live NPR dream. I was the obvious choice for the free family ticket. This week, Mrs. Loaner Son had singing practice almost every night, so we had a lot of Loaner son practice as a result.

Here are some wonderful things that the Loaner Son has learned to do in this past week:

1) Pick his nose constantly to make me gag and amuse Mr. Husband.
2) Try to eat his boogers to hear our screams and protests.
3) Learned to eat an entire cupcake without pausing to breathe.
4) Jumping on the couch and screaming in a bid for more attention.
5) Take apart Transformers.
6) Draw a series of Picasso-like ducks with Crayola crayons.
7) Watch Shrek over and over and over and over.
8) Go an entire day without peeing in his big boy pants (Diego style).
9) Sing his ABCs, conveniently leaving out every third and fourth letter.
10) Bowling: he knocked down more pins than most adults.
11) Continue to pick his nose.

We had a full Loaner Son week that commenced with our having him stay the night last night as the Symphony and Concert Chorale celebrated their first ever five-star review for a performance: Carmina Burana. This was probably the most exciting part of our week EVER. We’d looked forward to having an entire evening with the Loaner Son for weeks. His mommy packed lots of books, various toys, his Diego sleeping bag, Diego pillow, and fun pajamas to get him ready for his big night out. And for Mr. Husband and I: Parenting 101 just got more involved. We were kind of worried, but we had each other to lean on—we figured we’d pull it off with finesse. We went to dinner at Don Pepe’s and then went to Dairy Queen for Blizzards. The whole time, we pretended to be a real family.

Mr. Husband and I sat there with our private thoughts, wondering if it will be like this when we have our own child to take care of through the night. The Loaner Son is an exceptionally good kid, despite the recent trend to pick the nose. If our child is like me, the child will be wild and non-stop, so we hope the child is like Mr. Husband: reserved, good humored, and quiet. Most likely, we will not get that lucky.
But this experience gave us the perfect opportunity to think really hard about it. To get ready. To hope. To dream. To want.

Last night, after our exciting night out where we ran up and down the sidewalks at Lee Branch after dinner, the three of us sat on the upper porch and watched the neighborhood below us. The Loaner Son crawled up on my lap and we rocked as we talked about the day. Soon, his eyes were starting to close. I rocked him and sang a made-up bedtime song as he fell asleep in my arms. Mr. Husband smiled next to me, watching the calm scene that included no nose picking (finally).

In the morning, the Loaner Son brought Mr. Husband a series of Transformers to fix. Mr. Husband made pancakes, and we all watched cartoons and sang silly songs. We thanked Mrs. Loaner Son for giving us this chance to see if we could make it through an entire night in our own home with someone else’s kid. Bring on the neighborhood kids. We can take it. Please, though, no nose picking.

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