This week I had one of the most amazing and surreal experiences of my life. It took me till I was 41 years old but I finally got to utter the words "I'm with the band." and hang out in a dressing room at a Cheap Trick concert.
This little blog of mine somehow found it's way to Alison Petersson, wife of Tom Petersson. Rock legend bass player of Cheap Trick and inventor of the 12 string bass. They too have a son with autism. Just like me. They also love the power of music therapy, just like me. They want to bring it to the masses. They want to empower parents. Just like me. So clearly, I like these people. A lot. (If you want to check out more about their Rock Your Speech program: /http://rockyourspeech.com/)
And because Cheap Trick is on tour and had a Jersey date, Alison invited me to come to the concert. Like I'd say no? And that's when stuff got weird but amazing weird. Like so not my life but I like it weird. Because not only did I go to the show. I got to go backstage. I got to go ON the stage before the concert. Check out all their gear. Take a billion pictures. Hold Tom's bass which I swear weighs 100 pounds and I had to wonder if he goes to the chiropractor after every show because DAMN that thing was heavy!
I had brought along with me a fellow autism mom and music lover. At one point I turned to her and said "I started my day stripping my kiddo's bed because he peed through the sheets. How is this happening?"
And she replied "Hey! Me too! Autism Mom high five!" and we laughed and slapped hands.
"Hey. Let's just hang out in the dressing room before the show." Well sure cause that's my life now. Like I do that all the time. Tonight, listening to the lead singer warm up and Tom giving a couple picks to my pal whose son plays guitar. Next week, back to school night and listen to the principal give the same speech he's given for the past 6 years. Man, next week is going to be BORING!
I got to meet their awesome kids. Their son was just chilling on his lap top, watching YouTube clips of video game bowling. And just like that, I was back in my autism comfort zone. I knew back at my house, my Kiddo was probably doing the same thing. Chilling on YouTube. :-) He was also happy to show us the set list and count the songs to his favorite ones. (Four more to "Dream Police"!) Something my Kiddo loves to do when listening to Cd's at home. And Tom is about to go on and I'm thinking "Dude, your dad's work is to rock!" and his son is all "Yeah, I want popcorn." Which cracked me up again thinking about my son. He's just at his Dad's "office" so to speak. When we visit my husband at his job, Kiddo HAS to go to the office kitchen and get some water from the water cooler.
In case you have visions of debauchery backstage at a rock concert, sorry to burst your bubble there. You know we got that kid some popcorn because who doesn't love popcorn? But we had to "First, put on shoes. Then, popcorn." cause we live that First/Then life Fries. Rock stars or not. :-)
And we rocked out. Dancing the whole time. Counting the songs down with Alison and her son till Dream Police played. Making sure he enough popcorn. And when he had enough, his mom made a sensory exit. What member of Team Quirky hasn't done that? You got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em.
Tom and Alison, I can't thank you enough for a night to remember. It was both exciting and new yet very familiar. Hit me up next time you're in Jersey. Thanks for reminding me that "We're all alright."