Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'm sure you thought it was wishful thinking. . .

. . .when I said I'd hoped the Jonas Brothers would pick us out of the crowd to go backstage and meet them. . .


Kendall (my friend Marci's daughter) and Declan backstage with the Jonas Brothers at their concert in Columbus on August, 23!

Holy cow! It was awesome!

But no, it wasn't blind luck. It was a carefully orchestrated event.

Let me start by saying, I love the Jonas Brothers. First, they're darn cute. Second, I think they're pretty talented. Their music is fun and it's something we can all enjoy when we're driving around in the car. I can't quite say the same thing about some of the music we've listened to over the years. I mean, how many times can you listen to Big Rock Candy Mountain before you want to actually drive over the edge of the mountain?

So we've been Jonas Brothers fans ever since they burst onto the Disney Channel scene about a year and a half ago. I always thought it would be fun to see them in concert.

Back in May, when Marci and I were trying to coordinate a date to get together when we were in Ohio, I mentioned the weekend of August 23rd. She said it was perfect because she and Kendall would be in Columbus for the Jonas Brothers concert. I freaked out--via e-mail. What luck! JB in town the very weekend we would be there? Sweet! I could get nosebleed tickets just one section over from the nosebleed seats Marci and Kendall were in. Yay! But then I remembered that Eamonn's cousin can sometimes get awesome seats through his work. So I made the call and yes, Skylar could arrange it so we could buy seats in the corporate area of Nationwide Arena--no cramped stadium seats for us! Marci ended up selling her nosebleed seats for a huge profit and joining us in the sweet seats. We were set for a great evening. Declan was psyched. Frankly, so was I.

But I had another idea. Right around the same time all this was happening with the JB tickets, we were also setting up Finn's Make-A-Wish trip (which I'll write more about another time). And even though we will all get to go on this trip and it will be great fun, I can always tell when Declan is feeling a little bit like "Finn is always the center of attention." He would never verbalize those thoughts, and maybe he doesn't realize why he feels down sometimes, but as a parent, you know. Originally, I had asked both boys if they wanted to go to the concert, Declan said yes immediately, but Finn said no because "it would hurt his ears." (He has been diagnosed with something called Sensory Processing Disorder, and I'll write on that in yet another post, but suffice it to say, he knows his limitations and knew the noise would be too much for him. He was way right.)

So basically, it was shaping up to be a special evening for Declan, which I was excited about. It was a chance for him to have an evening all about him. And I thought to myself, "what else could I do to make this an evening he'll never forget?" And then I went on this mission to see if we could meet the Jonas Brothers. It almost didn't happen.

My first attempt was to contact Nationwide Arena. As if. I sent an e-mail to their communications person, explaining a little bit about Declan and what our family had been through the past 4 years, about how Declan was an awesome big brother who had supported Finn, etc., and I wondered if it might be possible for Declan to meet the Jonases because we love how they're brothers and work together, blah blah blah. No reply whatsoever. Which totally makes sense. I'm sure they have a million crazy people making up whacky stories to meet the Jonases. I was just another of the crazies.

But I would not be denied.

For weeks I wracked my pea brain to see what I could come up with. Should I write directly to the Jonas Brothers? I wondered how long it would take a letter to reach them given that they probably get 1.27 billion pieces of fan mail a day. Should I write to Mrs. Jonas and plead with her as a parent to let my son meet her sons? Good grief. She'd probably be so freaked out she'd cancel the concert and I'd get death threats from every teen girl in the Central Ohio area. That would be so uncool.

Finally, I decided to do something I swore I'd never do. One of my BFFs, who I've known since middle school, is an actor in LA. I won't publicly embarrass her here, but I love her to bits and we stay in touch. And so I called. Got her voicemail.

Me: "I have a favor to ask and I swear, this is the only time I'll ever ask you to use your fame and fortune to do a favor for me--and technically this favor is for Declan--until they make a movie of my life and I ask you to play me. Call me."

She called back.

She: "This is hilarious. I can't wait to hear what you think I can do."

And I told her. And she said, "You know, I think I can actually do that." But then I didn't hear back and I figured all was lost. Oh well. She tried.

The day before the concert, Marci and I were making plans about where we should meet, because with our sweet seats came sweet free VIP parking, and of course, what we should wear. She was going casual in shorts and flip flops.

And then I got the call. We were going to meet the Jonas Brothers! She hadn't been able to call and tell me until she got final confirmation, but we were on! I contemplated not telling Declan, Marci or Kendall and letting the whole thing be a surprise, but then I figured Marci would kill me if I let her meet the Jonas Brothers in shorts and flip flops. She was grateful for the heads up. Declan overheard me telling Marci and was practically hyperventilating, which made me glad he knew in advance because I was actually a little worried that he'd freak out and go silent or something when he met them. Marci told Kendall for the same reason. They needed a little advance warning.

So we got down to Nationwide Arena and picked up our meet and greet packet which instructed us to be at a certain area at a certain time to meet the brothers along with 350 other fans. So it wasn't like we had a private audience with them or anything. They didn't even have time to do autographs. I warned Declan he'd just walk up and they'd take the picture (a photographer takes your camera from you and he takes the picture to ensure no one stands there taking a million bad shots) and they we'd move right on. When our turn finally came, Declan walked right up to the brothers and went right down the line to each of them, "Hi, I'm Declan," and shaking each of their hands. The JB's handlers were totally cracking up and I heard them say, "Check out that kid! He's introducing himself! Great manners!"

I actually missed seeing Declan do his handshake routine because I was trying to get out of the way of the photographer and I didn't stop and really absorb the fact that we were meeting Declan's generation's equivalent of David Cassidy or Donnie and Marie. And as Marci and I were trying to get out of the way, Kevin Jonas actually called out to us and asked us if we wanted to be in the picture, but by then the picture was taken and we were being escorted away. Ah well, at least we can say a Jonas spoke to us.

But just look at Declan's face. Priceless. Joe: "I can't take much more of this!" Nick: "As soon as this torture is over, I'm totally texting Selena Gomez." Kevin: "My face is frozen."

Seriously though, they were all very gracious.

My dear BFF in LA, thank you, thank you a hundred times. I hope you got all of the text messages I sent while we were waiting in line!

The concert itself was incredible. Those boys know how to put on a show. I was dancing around, singing and making a lot of noise. When I looked over, Marci was doing the same. Although I will say that we were not screaming nearly as loud as the tens of thousands of teen girls in that arena. How does one scream at such an ear splitting pitch? Truly, it was deafening. It was days before my hearing recovered.

Declan is still talking about it. He said to me, "I had tears in my eyes when I was shaking their hands." And that put tears in my eyes.

A few pics from the evening.

On the table top were screens that showed text messages from the fans. We sent a text message and were trying to see if we could photograph it when it came up. I'm guessing our text was about the 2 millionth in line.

Marci has a sweet camera that could take great far away shots. We were on the opposite end of the arena, but her camera zoomed us right in. So this shot is from our seats showing the arena floor.

Marci, Declan and Kendall ready for the show.

Me with Declan.

The concert starts with the Jonases rising out of the stage floor. A deafening roar is going on right now.

Declan and Kendall get their groove on to the JBs.

Joe Jonas singing away.

Declan attempts to preserve his hearing.

And then decides if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

Singing a duet with Demi Lovato (from Camp Rock). She actually was one of the opening acts, but we missed most of her while we were at the meet and greet.

Singing Burnin' Up. . .which is the big single off their newest album.

Our table.

More about our trip to Ohio in another post. . .


Kristie said...

Thank goodness none of my kids were standing behind me looking over my shoulder when I opened your blog ..... the envy would be unbearable. :)

1dreamr said...

What a TOTALLY AWESOME story and great photos! Looks like the kids had a blast! Amazing memories. This calls for some scrapbooking!!

P.S. Can your BFF introduce me to Patrick Dempsey, 'cause I know the minute our eyes meet, he'll realize he married the wrong woman.. :-)

Leeann said...

You are the greatest mom ever! No way will I ever be able to catch up with you!

I need a famous friend. Wah.



Mom on the Run said...

I love that story. What a coup to get a photo op. I am glad your oldest had the chance to be the "star of the evening."