As parents, we often ponder our kids' readiness to try new experiences. Of course, what is often behind this classic brain-wracking process is that we, the anxious parents, aren't ready for our kids to step out and try new things. In one moment, we dream about them going to college to become doctors and lawyers, but also want them right back in that carseat, eating Cheerios, and learning to talk. It's hard living in our past, present, and future dreams, isn't it?
Something we joke about in our house is that Steve is the Reading Teacher and I'm the Music Teacher. It's not that I don't appreciate or value reading, Steve's just so much better at it than I am! I grew up in a musical family and enjoy exploring music and playing instruments with the kids. Over the past year, I noticed that Jack was really interested in the band Coldplay (I think this was helped along by his cousin, Eli (age 15) and the fact that the band was selected as this year's Super Bowl half-time band). What struck me was that he was developing an interest in wanting to know more about bands, instruments, and behind-the-scenes kinds of things. So, when I heard that Coldplay announced their current album, "A Head Full of Dreams" would be their last album and that they would be touring, I thought, well, we really should see that...we need to see that. Jack's ready for that, right?
I had not said anything to Jack about this concert because, again, I was wracking my brain about it all and I didn't want to set him up for disappointment (looking back, I find that funny because I know I should work on not shielding him from disappointment). When the tour dates were released (brilliantly timed for tax refund season) it turned out the nearest concert was in Philadelphia. I was bummed they weren't coming to the DC area, partly because I was concerned about my ability to make that kind of drive by myself given my health. After various conversations with my mom and sister, we came up with a plan and four of us (Jack, Eli, my sister, and I) headed to Philadelphia for the show on Saturday, August 6th.
I didn't know what kind of time we would have for sightseeing before the show on Saturday or on Sunday morning, so I picked the centrally located Doubletree - Philadelphia Center City. We were able to take a quick walk to City Hall and the famous Love sign on Sunday morning, it's pretty clear that Jack wants to return for a historical visit to Philly; his love for the Broadway hit, Hamilton is pretty crazy.
We had a little time before the concert started and stumbled onto a fantastic Italian restaurant, Little Nonna's - reservations definitely recommended, we just got lucky. This is the kind of place where you can all eat off of one plate of spaghetti and meatballs. WOW! The metro, SEPTA station was right there at our hotel and so we took a train straight down to Lincoln Financial Field for $3.60 round trip (tokens).
If you're not familiar with Coldplay's music, you will discover, like many musical acts, some people love them, some people hate them. As Jack and Anna's mom, I love that they love them. And, I can't argue with a band that has my kids singing:
"leave your broken windows open and in the light just streams, and you get a head, a head full of dreams, you can see the change you wanted, be want you want to be"
The stands at Lincoln Financial Field were filled with plenty of kids and teenagers. Alessia Cara opened for the band and every time she spoke to the crowd, she emphasized a message of being true to yourself and loving yourself for who you are. I sincerely appreciated her performance. The energy that Coldplay brings to a stadium of thousands is beyond remarkable - it's impossible not to feel good in those moments. I loved seeing how focused Jack was at different moments of the concert - like watching the wheels in motion in that mind of his. My hope is that this concert will be a lasting, memorable experience for both Eli and Jack and that those heads of theirs get chock full of dreams.