Yesterday was a banner day for the Rhyne family.
It was our first day back to work and school after a week away in Asheville, North Carolina. (Awesome hippie city in the mountains, by the way - if you ever have a chance to go, do.) We were all a little tired from the return to the daily grind. (5 a.m. comes early! Have I mentioned that before?)
On the way home, though, we kept up with the U.S./Canada Women's Soccer Olympic Semi-Final game via a live blog. We got home only a minute into the extra periods, so we all sort of dropped everything (except, in Zoe's case, for a large plastic Light Saber, but who's counting) to watch the final minutes of the game.
And MAN! Those were some crazy final minutes. We were all three of us on edge, jumping up when it looked like we might score, cringing when it looked like things were going in Canada's favor.
Then, when Alex Morgan scored in the final 30 seconds, we screamed and danced for joy. It was...awesome! (Although...since I just remembered my publisher in in Canada, can I also say that if Canada had won, I'd have been happy for them as well...yay North America!).
Anyway, then we threw back a quick dinner (matzoh ball soup and cheese and crackers anyone??), and headed out the door....to....you'll never believe it...The American Idol Live Tour!!!
Yeah. We did that.
Ok, to be fair, we did it for Zoe. She started watching American Idol performances last year, and this year, she watched every episode. We usually recorded them and then watched them after soccer on Thursday afternoons. She LOVES it.
So we got her tickets for her first concert for her birthday.
She was pumped for weeks ahead of time. "How many days till American Idol?" was a frequent question, even while we were on vacation.
Riding over to the concert venue, she vibrated with excitement.
We got her a Sprite (ok, Sierra Mist, but whatever) and a giant pretzel and took her to her seat. She looked so small in the big stadium.
Still, she oozed enthusiasm.
When the show opened with video footage of the Idols coming to Earth via...comets (??)...Zoe hid in my lap. When they sang their first song as a group, accompanied by lots of flashing lights, she ducked her head further down.
She didn't know the song, you see, which confused her.
Shouldn't they sing stuff I know? her little face said.
By the fourth unknown song, Zoe crossed her arms across her chest angrily, even though it was sung by her favorites, Skylar and Hollie.
"I want to home," she said, crestfallen.
We asked her to tough it out, and luckily it wasn't long until a song came on that she recognized. Zoe started to shake her groove thang.
When Elise sang "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin, a performance Zoe recalled from the show, and then Adele's "Rumor Has It," which happens to be Zoe's all-time fave, my child grew positively radiant.
She danced. She grinned. She glowed. It was the high point of the show for me.
Of course, then there came a few more songs she didn't know, more crossed arms and pouty faces, and a LOT more flashy lights, and we called it quits.
Walking out of the stadium, Charles asked, "So, what did you think?"
We both braced for the worst.
But Zoe smiled, ear-to-ear. "I LOVED it, Daddy!"
Later that night, as I tucked Zoe into bed, I reminded her that we'd watched a great soccer game AND gone to her first concert, all in one afternoon.
"Do you want to do either of those things when you grow up?" I asked quietly. "Sing or play soccer?"
"Soccer player," she said.
"Great. I can't wait to watch you in an Olympic match."
"Yes, Mommy, but first will you come to my regular games?"
Leave it to the little one to remind me to keep my feet on the ground.
"Of course, Zoe," I said, and I kissed her on the head. "I'll come to every game."