I love hanging out with Talidra and learning about her and what her friends are learning. When I first met her she was in second grade. At that age I had coloring books, pet rocks, and played fire monster on the playground. Her class has computers, a gym class, and goes to the symphony. Now she is in fourth grade with dating drama, smart phones, and standardized tests. For whatever reasons – the Big Company told me that I was only able to visit Talidra at school – statistics of drivers under 25, so I never thought of asking if that could change. I didn’t have to drive; I just wanted to show Talidra so much.
The year before, I missed the RSVP date to the Bigs Appreciation Event and luckily I didn’t miss it this year. Stephen, a board member, seeing my love for children and hearing of my long commitment felt that my little and I deserved a special event to celebrate the time we had shared. He bought us tickets to the Blues Brothers show. I had seen the movie once and have known people to reference the outfits or car from the show. I hoped that at Talidra’s age – no idea of the show, that she would be able to recognize some of the music.
I picked the tickets up on Tuesday and Talidra called her mom on Wednesday to ask permission. We were set to meet on Thursday at 6:30pm; the show to start at 7:30pm. It was so nice to get away from school where we both are distracted by math problems and hard spelling words. Being in the car we were free to talk about anything and talk we did. I parked us three blocks from the theater to save $10 and then bought us each a $3 water before finding our seats. Talidra mentions that people shouldn’t be drinking ‘alcohol’ at the theater (more of a bar thing I guess) and I agree because I don’t like to miss the show to pee.
Talidra is taller than me and the lady sitting beside her must’ve believed her older, asking her questions that I tried to hear so that I could answer. Talidra’s neighbor also decided to sing along to all the songs. We happened to be two of the ten people there without gray hair. At 8:20pm there was a 15 minute intermission and I asked Talidra what she thought of the show – two guys singing, a six-man band, and one girl dancing in a shiny dress. She thought it was ok and, “Ooh, I want coffee.” We got some and hers was gone long before mine began to cool.
I noticed it was 9:30pm and didn’t know when the show would end, but Talidra was getting into the clapping along and standing with hands raised in the air. The show finished before 10pm and when I asked Talidra what she thought after the show she said it was better than any play she attended with school. I returned her safely to her mom that tells me I will be hard to replace. I want to tear up, but I remember broccoli farts mentioned in the show – which by the way was great, and smile as they drive away.