The boys have been obsessed with Jimmy Buffet for quite a while now. (A year I think) At first he was “Dimmy Muffet” but now that their pronunciation has gotten better, he is the real deal. He is not the only singer in their hearts, however. Dan Zanes, an actual kids’ singer, who writes kid-appropriate songs that are not about drinking and sailing, is right up there in their hearts by Buffet. On top of having most of his CDs, they got a DVD of a live concert from Uncle A for Christmas, and that sealed the deal—they want to be Dan Zanes. He has crazy, sticky-uppy hair, and they love for me to get their hair wet with a little water or even hair gel, in order to really create the full effect, as they belt out his songs in front of the TV, playing their guitars and mimicking his every move on stage.
Brian had been watching Dan Zanes’ tour schedule and there was nothing close. He’s a New York guy, and most shows are up in that area and not on good days of the week for us. He found only one show that we could make work time-wise and so we decided to take them up to New York City for a surprise Dan Zanes concert. It’s about a four or five hour drive from here.
Yesterday was the big day. We told them we were going to New York City and described it as a cool place with really tall buildings. They immediately asked if we’d see Dan Zanes because he sings “Sidewalks of New York” on their DVD while he walks on the sidewalks of New York. We said maybe we would, maybe we wouldn’t. There are a lot of people in New York City. We don’t know which ones we’ll see. The good part about their age is that they didn’t once ask why we were going or what we were doing; they just went along, excited. Brian and I were eager to surprise them.
They were great in the car. We listened to a little Jimmy Buffet of course, and then they watched their Dan Zanes DVD. We got to the Metropolitan Museum of Art right on time for the show. We told them who we were going to see a little while before we went into the auditorium. They got scared, as we thought they might. Calvin especially. He kept saying we wouldn’t stay long and we’d go home soon. During the show they let kids and parents dance and sing in the aisles. Clark enjoyed being up on Brian’s shoulders and dancing, but Cal just wanted to be in his seat, clutching onto me. For the last two songs Cal was on Brian’s shoulders and he finally was laughing and enjoying the music. I’m not sure what it is that makes them afraid of someone they love so much, but I’m sure it’s not uncommon and has to do with a kids’ development. We had a chance to have a picture with Dan Zanes after the show, but they were too afraid. (I really wanted that photo!) They’ve been talking about the show ever since we came home and Cal has been saying, “I was a little afraid of the real Dan Zanes, but that’s okay.” Afterwards, we took the subway, walked on the sidewalks of New York in the drizzle, had dinner and cupcakes with some friends, and then Brian drove the four hours back home. They slept the entire way and once Clark belly-laughed in his sleep.
This is such a cool part of being a parent—getting to surprise them and introduce them to so much in our world. Even though Brian and I probably enjoyed the actual concert more than they did (his music is great!), I don’t think they’ll stop talking about this for a long time.
|Bagel-munching on the way|
|Here we come!|
|Watching Dan Zanes DVD (Clark still clutching his "bagel phone")|
|Sharing some family chocolate|
|Rest stop shenangins|
|Playing cups like guitars|
|Yay! The Big Apple|
|A distant Lady Liberty|
|Under the water and into the city|
|A nervous Clarky outside the show|
|We have these CDs!|
|Commence (insert nervous habit here)|
|I can do this. I think.|
|The man himself!|
|Decompressing by throwing coins in a museum fountain|
|Making faces and friends on the subway|
|Cupcakes with Molly and Grace!|
|Discussing the finer points of the concert|