So... dragged by Lucas, my aspie son, to see Justin Bieber in Manchester last night, not really my choice of a night out, but I've found that encouraging any kind of special interest can have unexpected payoffs.
Lucas was popping some bieber-style moves, singing along at the top of his voice, and totally having the time of his life! Since this interest in Bieber started, he has shown an interest in the guitars we have always had around the place, and has even picked up the half-size one, and started trying out different ways to get a sound out of it. I think he is finally going to take up dh's offer of teaching him guitar. He's also secured a promise of a set of drums on his birthday!
I know there's a lot of music snobbery around, and a lot of people would look down on Bieber and other teen pop types, (including dh) but we were both so thrilled that Lucas was taking a serious interest in his own choice of music, up until now, he's mostly listened to music that we have put on his iPod, upbeat stuff selected from our own back catalogue mainly, some Beatles/Kinks tracks, ABBA, Simply Red, all kinds of random stuff. But this is the first time he's chosen something for himself, he requested the album for Christmas. I'm so thrilled that he's starting to appreciate music that speaks to him, and belongs to his generation. At his age, I didn't even know that pop music existed, as my parents only listened to classical music on occasion, and didn't approve of any kind of modern music.
I took some precautions, brought ear plugs, which he tried but didn't like, got there quite early to avoid any pre-gig stress, held hands the whole time we were wandering around so we didn't get separated, the crowds weren't too bad, there were always gaps, he went a bit quiet when we were waiting at the entrance, but I kept checking he was OK. We got a huge tub of popcorn which got him through the wait for the support acts to come on, and I explained all the things that were happening, the order the acts were going to come on, where the musicians would be on the stage, and what would happen at the end of Justin's set, the rules about encores! I think all that helped, and I noticed that while we were dancing, he was looking around to see exactly what other people were doing, so he could wave his arms in time with everybody else, and make all the right hand shapes (lol).
It was such a meaningful night for me to be able to bond with him over his first music crush, and take him to his first proper gig! We had lovely cuddles, he wrapped my arm round his head when the screaming got too loud for him, and we held hands and danced together most of the night (we were quite high up, I think he was afraid of falling down). Maybe it sounds too cutesy, but for a 9-year old boy to be so affectionate in public is pretty rare these days! Some of the girls around us thought he was really cute, with his baseball cap and bieber haircut!!
I love him so much, and I was so proud of him yesterday for trying something new and really scary for an Aspie, and doing it with flair!