Charlie and I went on a date last night.
We got all dressed up.
Which means we crammed Charlie into an oxford and tie and told him how handsome and grown up he looked. He told us "this thing makes my neck hurt." Ryan told him that ties are supposed to hurt, he better get used to it now. But the last of his remaining baby-chub was making the collar awfully tight, so we settled for undoing his top button and letting him wear his tie a little loose, working-late-style.
The concert was at my school, a joint performance of the university string ensemble and the local civic orchestra with a special performance by a famous clarinettist. I got in for free with my ID, so I took Charlie figuring if it was a disaster we could simply leave early, much to the relief of the people around us. After all, it started at 7:30 and Charlie usually goes to bed at 7:00. He was fast asleep when we pulled into the parking lot just before 7:00 so I draped him over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes and hauled him into the concert hall still half-asleep. A box of raisins perked him right back up.
I was a little worried about his behavior, but friends? He was AMAZING.
We passed the time before it started by making faces at the camera. The nice woman in front of us kept telling me when she saw me with the camera "He's making a funny face." She was super helpful.
Charlie sat silently perched on my lap for the entire first piece, several songs done by a small wind ensemble, then moved back to his own seat for the second one, which featured the full orchestra. During the second piece he leaned over and whispered "It's so beautiful!" The second piece was composed of five or six different movements and Charlie sat quietly through the whole thing. The only thing he said was when he whispered to me "When I'm an adult can I play an instrument up there? And will you come and sit here and watch me?" I assured him that I would.
He started getting squirmy near intermission so when we got out into the hall I asked him if he'd rather stay for more music or go home. He wanted to go home. I was having such a good time with him, though, that I suggested we cap the evening off with a slice of pie at a restaurant. On the way there I let him call Ryan and tell him breathlessly about the "beautiful music and all the beautiful instruments and they were loud and great and beautiful and one day I'm gonna play a TROMBONE and you and Mama and Wes can come watch me play and we're going to go get PIE and will you and Wes come meet us when Wes wakes up, please, Papa? I got to see INSTRUMENTS!"
When our waiter introduced himself Charlie replied "Hi! I'm Charlie and I'd like chocolate pie, please!" We were quite excited about the pie.
And he had earned it a thousand times over.
He was nearly asleep when we pulled into the garage, but he had to tell Ryan about the INSTRUMENTS again. When Ryan put him down in the kitchen he ran up the stairs and into the bathroom, picked up his washcloth and started washing his face. When he was done he brushed his teeth. All without us saying a word!
It was a very memorable night. Worth him totally falling apart at church today, after the clock struck twelve and he turned back into a three-year-old.