I wish you guys knew Jay 4 years ago. I wish I could force you to go back to the beginning and read some of the early posts on this blog. That’s the only way you could fully understand the progress that he’s made. That’s the only way for you to fully grasp why I’m so excited to tell you about the day we spent at a reggae family fun day festival. The original plan was not for either of the kids to go to the festival. But as plans sometimes have a way of doing, they changed; and while Ace chose to go to a BBQ, Jay came with me.
We got to the festival at around 2:30 pm. It was being held in a large New York City park. Even though I knew there would be lots of food vendors inside, I made sure that Jay got something to eat prior to us going in. Hungry Jay is not pleasant. In my bag, I was armed with 2 Nutri-Grain bars (strawberry flavoured of course) and a tub of chewing gum (minty flavoured).
Once we got inside, Jay spotted an area with bouncy castles, obstacle courses, slides and face painting. He politely asked if he could go there. I said yes and off we went. The lines were short so he was able to get on multiple bouncy things fairly quickly. He was having fun. I know because he said so more than once. 🙂
Later, when the lines did get a little longer, he calmly waited his turn. When he got to the front, he looked to the operator for the OK to go and he followed their instructions perfectly. He seriously was one of the best behaved kids at the park. He never tried to get an extra turn by climbing back up the slide and he never tried to cut to the front of the line and he never rushed the other kids to move quicker. He just did what he was supposed to do. And stayed happy doing it.
When he’d had his fill of bouncing and sliding and obstacle coursing, he asked if he could get his face painted. I said sure and we made our way over. There was only 1 lady doing face painting; the line was long; it was moving very slowly; I didn’t think we would last long.
45 minutes later, after Jay had stood there quietly waiting he got his face painted to look like a doggy.
Did ya’ll even hear that? I said FORTY FIVE MINUTES … My Jay stood and waited for FORTY FIVE MINUTES.
After the face painting we headed to the area where the concert was happening. The music was loud and the crowd was thicker. No sweat. We just stood there, and took in the show.
I really don’t mean to yell at you but HELLLOOOO, I said, we just stood there and took in the show.
Jay particularly enjoyed the performance by Sean Paul – who had sexy back up dancers. Jay was so taken by them that he started dancing too. He even asked to go closer so he could see the “acrobats” as he called them. Then he asked if he could go on the stage with them. When I said no, he matter-of-factly said “I can’t go. That’s not for Jay.” That was it.
There were several other performers and Jay did an amazing job of entertaining himself with the dirt that was all around us. Hey, whatever works. When his legs got tired he asked me to pick him up and then we rocked to the music together. Sometimes we were cheek to cheek and sometimes we were forehead to forehead. I LOVED it.
Somewhere around 7pm, he asked to leave. I told him we were almost done so we’d go soon. He took his stick and wrote in the dirt THE END. It was a good try but it didn’t quite work. He went back to entertaining himself with chewing gum and digging in dirt and I got to see the main performer I wanted to see. About 20 minutes later when Jay asked to go to the car, I showed him my watch which was reading 7:20. I told him that when it said 7:30, we’d go. At 7:40, after he had kicked up more dirt and eaten a snack and written the names of each of the Teen Titans backwards, he asked to see my watch again and so I told him that yes it was now time to go. We slowly walked towards the exit. By the time we got to the gate, I was able to get a glimpse of the final act of the day but we missed out on the rush to exit. Double boo yah!
I had a great day and Jay was a total joy to just hang out with.
Back in the car, a filthy and exhausted little dude mumbled, “I’m so super tired. I was busy.” and then fell asleep.
There’s another show/festival at the same place next month. I had no intention of bringing the kids to it, but now … Now my mind is swirling with possibilities. Am I reaching? Was this a 1 hit wonder? Is it too much for me to expect the same again another time? Stay tuned to find out.