The boys and I took a short road trip to St. Louis this past weekend, culminating with a tryout for American Idol on Tuesday for my oldest. I have just gotten to the point where I feel like going and doing things for the pure heck of it. No, my son didn't make it on to the finals but we weren't anticipating he would. We did it for the adventure, the experience and in hopes of him conncenting with people in the industry - not to mention, it gave us an excuse to finally go on a much-needed vacation, as it has been eight years for us without one.
My son was complimented whenever he sang, even by the Idol judges. He organized nightly sing-a-alongs at our hotel where the kids competing sang for the guests during Happy Hour. He also helped set-up the group to sing in the line while waiting to go in for the auditions - that was at 5 a.m., making it onto the local news and being taped by the Idol crew. I received some compliments by fellow moms about my two boys - how nice, well-mannered, handsome, friendly, good kids they are.
In just two days we went to the Arch, the zoo and a baseball game. Alot seen and done. It just was the tip of the iceberg for me. Now I realize that we need to make time in the future for these get-aways, even if they are local.
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained," was the phrase that kept repeating in my mind during this trip. How many people can say they've been to an American Idol audition? I should add, that it is nothing like what ends up being seen on t.v. - all very staged and set up but still a neat experience. None of the 45 kids staying in our hotel made it forward, and I'd have to say most were extrodinary singers. I told my son that the majority of kids there were ones with good voices singing cover songs. But my son is composing instrumental and vocal pieces and has enough material to get a CD out right now. Every opportunity is another step along the way.
I even met a nice mom from Texas and she and I hung out together. That was unexpected but nice. I hope we can stay in touch. We've already received an offer from her to visit.
So all in all a great experience but tiring. At the Arch I started to cry seeing all the families together and remembering how much my late husband enjoyed traveling. He would have loved to have been on that trip with us. I realized that since we've never been on a vacation before that this reaction has been slow in coming - almost eight years after his death. So I think that sometimes it can take us longer to pass through all the avenues of loss because we've managed to bypass that exit. And then we do drive down that avenue and even the passage of time provides no buffer.
My husband and I did so much traveling and whenever I got back I'd be so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to stetch my wings and viewpoint. Staying in our little neck of the woods the past years has resulted in my being somewhat stagnant. Meeting new people and seeing new places and things is a way to grow and expand ourselves. I can see how I've hidden away in this very insulating community out of fear and sadness. Even with my boys being older it was hard for me to take responsibility on my own for this short trip and get us all packed, and out, etc. It might be easier to stay put and live with the status quo but I can't do that anymore. And I'm glad my son is of the same nature, fighting back nerves and dealing with disappointment to take a chance and audition for Idol.