One of the greatest things about the Tour of Infinite Possibility was that it brought together people from various walks of life. No matter your age, your gender, or your nationality, there was room for you up on stage with Hope&Social and in the Band Anyone Can Join. There was room for you to sing. There was room for you to dance. There was room for you to ring bells and play ukeleles or any other instrument that struck your fancy. And there was most certainly room for you in the audience. We were all united by the music Hope&Social created and shared with us. We were all a part of “The Big Wide.”
All, except, for my daughters.
I’ll admit that as the mother of three young ones, it’s nice to have something in my life that’s just for and just about me. Singing with the Northern Songbirds has been that in a way that many other things haven’t, and have filled a uniquely-shaped hole in my life. I blogged about it just last week, in fact. Singing was a way for me to find my voice again.
So I don’t really share much of it with my husband and children. Sure, they know I sing in a choir. They know I go to rehearsals and gigs. They have a vague understanding of the fact that they might be able to see me on stage for half a second during a camera pan at the Tour de France Grand Depart Opening Ceremony. But really, for my kids especially, my musical talent is a pretty abstract concept.
That was until the Tour of Infinite Possibility.
To be fair, the conversation that I had with my girls on the morning of the Knaresborough gig went something like this:
Me: “Today you guys are going to get to come hear Mommy sing with Hope & Social.”
Chorus of Girls: “No. Boring. It’s too hot outside. Who are they? We don’t want to. We’re not going.”
I might be paraphrasing (or not). But the general idea is that the girls have no experience with gigs, certainly not one that I’m in, so they had no frame of reference for what this glorious pedal-powered stage and these amazing musicians would entail. And they weren’t interested.
Of course, being the caring, kind-hearted parent that I am, I whined and complained about their whining and complaining, and my husband forced them into the car despite their protests (which you can still do when they’re relatively little). Because that’s how we roll.
And the Tour of Infinite Possibility did what I really didn’t think it could do. It brought my family together in this incredibly new and unique way. The girls got to see me on stage, a big stage with a real band, singing. They got to be a part of an engaged and excited audience at a concert, something they’ve never done before. They got to pedal the bikes and power the stage. They got free sweets from the amazing crew and event organizers.
They loved every minute of it.
Some direct quotes from the girls after the concert:
“That was awesome!”
“I was singing along.”
“I loved it.”
“I could see you up there!”
I worried that when I sat down to write this blog post, I wouldn’t be able to write anything different than what I wrote about the Harrogate gig. But the truth is, I’ve had this completely different, but equally amazing experience. Because before, Hope&Social and the Tour of Infinite Possibility made me feel like I was a part of something special. And now…now they’ve done it for my entire family.
There aren’t any words that I can find to say “thank you” for that.
So thank you. Just, thank you.