It was quite a thrill to see and hear my own child, The Middle Child, sing on stage, on the stage, at Carnegie Hall. The Carnegie Hall. The one in New York City. Who actually gets to do that? It’s something most people don’t even dare to dream of doing–simply because it seems so ridiculously unattainable. The Middle Child just completed her sixth year as a member of The Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde. Two years ago, she competed in the World Choir Games in Latvia, which was a huge accomplishment and honor. This year, her group was asked to sing with several other choirs, at Carnegie Hall.
The Middle Child flew up with her group on Thursday, June 9. I flew up alone on Saturday, June 11. Mothah followed and hour behind me and I waited for her at LaGuardia. At the last minute, I upgraded my seat for $29. I was in the row right behind first class. I was in the middle seat. The guy to the right of me was about 6ft 5 and probably weighed 350. He was a big guy. I am not making fun of him in any way. He was just a big guy, and he could not help but be half way in my seat when other people walked down the aisle to their seats. I felt badly for him. It has got to suck for him to have to travel. He was trying his best to stay out of my space. I finally tapped him on the arm and told him that he was not bothering me at all and to lean back and get comfortable. The guy to the left of me was playing music on his headphones. There were no screens in front of us. Dammit. What the hell was this $29 upgrade for, exactly? The flight got started and we flew to New York, without a hitch. When we got to NYC airspace; however, that was a different story! The captain came on the loudspeaker and told us that LaGuardia was down one runway today. Now, if you know anything at all about LaGuardia or any NYC airports, to be down one runway makes landing a bitch. You get to circle and circle and circle. We did. When we finally did land, there was no gate for us. When there finally was a gate, the bridge attendants managed to break the bridge as they brought it out to meet the plane, so we could not exit. We had already gotten up and gotten our carry on luggage out of the overhead carriers when the captain came back on the loudspeaker and told us that we needed to sit back down and get comfortable. About 25 minutes went by. Finally, the captain came back on and told us that there were no other gates to move us to, so they had determined that the best thing to do was to let us off the plane via air stairs. This meant that the back of the plane would exit first. So much for my damn $29 upgrade. I was actually expecting a stair car–that my children have seen pictures of, and also in Arrested Development, but air stairs are actually stairs that pull out from the bottom of the back of the plane. I took a picture as I descended.
There was a bus waiting for us right at the bottom of the stairs, to whisk us off of the tarmac and to a terminal. I automatically assumed that it was the same terminal that Mothah would be arriving at soon, so I exited the terminal and went to baggage claim, since Mothah had checked her bag. I waited and waited. It finally dawned on me that Mothah might not, (probably wasn’t), be arriving at that terminal. In fact, she certainly was not. I texted her to let me know when she was on the ground to let me know what terminal she was in. Thank God, it was just the next terminal over. I told her to stay there and I would come to her. She had already gotten her bag by the time I found her. We got a bus to our hotel, The Roosevelt, (never again, but thank you anyway, hotels.com) and it took us about 45 minutes to get there. We were still waiting on our friend Phyllis to arrive. She had flown stand-by on a buddy pass. She ended up having to fly to White Plains, NY and take a shuttle to NYC. When she got there, she found out her bag was at LaGuardia, so she had to go get it. My Daddy and Toni had arrived about an hour after Mothah, and we were all going to dinner together. Yes, we do have that kind of creepy family that the mother and the father and the father’s fiancée and everybody gets along 😉 We like it like that. That is just how we roll. So there. Anyway. (We had a few fabulous meals as one big ol’happy familia while we were in the City) Mothah and I set off for the Empire State Building. What I had not taken into account, I know not why, was that Mothah, having had her knee replaced last October, cannot walk fast or far. We got to the ESB, and I did not realize it was going to cost forty fucking dollars to ride the elevator up and get off and look at the city. Seriously? I could think of a lot more stuff I wanted to do with $40! Mothah said we did not have to do it, but I could tell she really wanted to, so I conceded. I cannot tell you how GLAD I am that I conceded!!! The VIEW! Oh MY GOD! It was unbelievable. I cannot believe I have never done that before. Best forty fucking dollars I have ever spent. And I think it was actually like $36 or something.
Anyway. What was even more unbelievable was the ride from hell that Mothah made me take back to the hotel. On a damn RICKSHAW. Yes. A RICKSHAW. Mothah could not walk back, and we had trouble hailing a cab, but we had no trouble hailing us a damn rip off rickshaw!!! I thought I was going to vomit. Especially when the guy started driving against traffic after he realized he was going the wrong way. I just knew we were going to die.
We didn’t. And I did not throw up. But I did tell Mothah that it would be a cold day in hell before I got on another damn rickshaw with her. Sunday , on our way to Carnegie Hall, I found the proper head wear for myself: I was going to buy it and wear it to Carnegie, but I knew that The Middle Child would just die of embarrassment, so I restrained myself, which was really, really hard, seeing as though, I have been looking all my life for this, and it was not millions of dollars. I may go back and buy if for myself. Don’t be surprised if you see a picture of me wearing it sometime in the future. Finally, it was time for the performance. The Treble Concert Choir (TCC) of Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde was performing under the direction of famed conductor and composer, Christian Grases. They would be performing a world premiere piece called Nocturnos y Adivinanzas (Courtesy of the DCINY Premiere Project). I did not even know ahead of time, that they would be singing in Spanish! And it was not even regular Spanish, but some sort of Island Spanish that The Middle Child knows all the details about and told me, but I was just in such complete awe that I kind of blanked out on all of it. It was completely and totally amazing. Our seats were on the third row. (And lest you even begin to wonder, yes, we did all sit together!) I had this feeling of “I am not worthy” just upon entering Carnegie Hall. That feeling passed, immediately upon seeing The Middle Child walk out onto that enormous stage. I was worthy! For there was my child, The Middle Child, beaming, standing on that stage, about to sing her heart out. And that, she did, and her group did, most excellently. Of course, they received a standing ovation–rightly so.
On Monday, we could finally pick The Middle Child up from her group. We stayed an extra two days. We went entered the Hamilton lottery numerous times and lost. Here is how close we got to Hamilton:
We went to see School of Rock. GO SEE IT!!!! It ROCKED!!! We think of it as our “Family Movie”.
While I had a fabulous time, as I always do when I am in the City…one thing I do know for sure, finally….I do not want to live there! I was happy to get home and see some grass. I’m talking about the kind that grows in the yard 😉
Some more random photos: