Last Friday, we surprised the boys with tickets to see Justin Bieber. The video I took of the big reveal was a huge hit among my Facebook friends, to the point that parents were stopping Gus at church and in the halls at school to congratulate him and tell him they’d seen his emotional reaction.
While I got a gold star for getting the tickets, Gus gave me a D- for posting The Big Reveal in public. I WAS CRYING, he said. I LOOKED RIDICULOUS.
He did not look ridiculous. He looked like exactly who he is. Justin Bieber’s Number One Boy Fan! But I get it. The kid has a reputation to maintain, and I was messing with his mojohmy GOD I WANT TO POST THE VIDEO HERE SO BADLY.
But I won’t.
We’ve come to that point in the road where self-consciousness has set in (to a degree) and certain topics are just off limits. Patrick was born in that place, holding up a sign that said “STOP LOOKING AT ME”. But Gus is so bold and gregarious, so uniquely forward, it's easy to forget that he doesn't want the world to know everything.
So I’ll tell you only the parts that Gus himself would tell you.
That he wanted tickets to see Justin Bieber more than anything else in the world. That he’d been begging for tickets for months, but they were sold out. That on the night of the show he asked us to take him downtown, so he could hold up a sign he’d made, with the words “I Need Tickets” and “Justin Bieber’s #1 Boy Fan”, in the hopes that Justin Bieber’s management would take pity on him.
Red hoodie, black skinny jeans, Justin Bieber high tops, hair coiffed high, our boy hit the streets of Nashville holding up that sign, a beacon of pre-tween anxiety and hope.
We took him to dinner. He was furious. Wanted to stand outside the arena with his sign.
The band at the restaurant had written a little country ditty called Bieber Fever to poke fun at the fans on the streets below, and it was during that song that Larry set the tickets down, one in front of each boy. Patrick saw his first, and smiled, wide-eyed, LOOK! JUSTIN BIEBER TICKETS. Gus, still twitching with angst took a minute to catch on, while my camera rolled.
(Patrick) LOOK, GUS. JUSTIN BIEBER TICKETS. WE GOT JUSTIN BIEBER TICKETS.
Confusion. Recognition. Realization. And yes, tears. Tears of surprise, joy and relief.
(Patrick again) Is he happy crying?
Yes. He’s happy crying.
When people saw this video on Facebook, they posted comments on my wall like, “Best Parents Ever” and “Mother of the Year”, and Larry and I sort of scratched our heads, thinking why? Why are they saying we’re great parents? Any parents would do what we did if they had a kid like Gus. There was a whole arena full of parents who bought their children tickets to see that show. I was lucky enough to get ours through work. And then it occurred to us that all this adoration was because they can't stand Justin Bieber. To their minds, Larry and I were making some huge sacrifice, “taking one for the team.”
“That’s totally it,” Larry said. “These people wouldn’t be caught dead at a Bieber concert, and they’re amazed we were willing to suffer in this way for our offspring.”
“So, really", Larry said, "Just I am the best parent ever.”
It is so.
I loved every minute of the show, almost as much as Gus did. And Bieber puts on a show, yo. Movie clips and dancers and pyrotechnics and a crane hoisting him (and his acoustic guitar) up, up, up over the crowd, to the delighted shrieks of girls (and a few boys) of all ages. After opening sets by Cody Simpson and Carly Rae Jepsen, The Biebs was larger than life, and out of this world, descending from the sky in a white suit and shades ... and a set of 25-foot angel wings.
I mean, COME ON.
What's not to love?