So Jack turns four years old in April. Today, in fact. ouch. I'm not going to get all sentimental just yet - rest assured that is coming in another post - but for now - let's talk about rock and roll.
Now - I've confessed that I don't know a whole lot about music. And that my three-year old (now four-year old) has a much more extensive music vocabulary and knowledge of the great rock and roll stars throughout history. Thanks to his dad, youtube, and an ever-increasing desire to know more about music - and you have the perfect storm of musician wannabe.
When the time came to plan his fourth birthday party - he immediately piped up that he wanted a 'rock star' party. I had no idea how to handle that. Thank God for Pinterest and Al Gore and the Internet. After way too much time researching and pinning, oohing and aahing over several parties posted on the web - I was on my way to superstar rock mom legend status.
So it all began with the invite - a back-stage/all access pass to the party. In conference name tag holders and hung on lanyards. Of course. I heart Photoshop.
Then we had to have official concert posters and t-shirts, right? Right.
We cleaned out the garage, pulled out Jack's drum set (and every musical instrument we had), along with his brand spanking new karaoke machine, and set up for a concert in the garage. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun it was.
When kids arrived, they were asked to 'autograph' the Rock and Roll ABC book (which I highly recommend - it's got awesome photos of the top rock legends.) They were invited to get rock star-ed up with wayfarer sunglasses, blinky light up rings, and glitter guitar tattoos. They got to 'mod' their own card stock guitar (complete with ribbon strap so they could wear it when they were finished), and snack on Hershey's Kisses (Jack's favorite treat - and the Official Turning Four Snack.)
Speaking of snacks - kids get mighty hungry and thirsty at concerts, so they need lots of energy to refuel themselves. Like Bon Jovi Berries, Pink Floyd Potato chips, Uncle Kracker Jacks, and Blind Melon kabobs.
They also snacked on Def Leppard Drum Sticks (chocolate covered pretzel rods) while slurping up some Judas Priest juice boxes, Lemonheads lemonade, and Everclear spring water,
And then - and THEN - what's a rock star party without a true concert? Holy Moly folks.
We are truly blessed to know some amazing people - who will do things for our kids that not many will willingly volunteer for - like dress up in spandex and pretend to be the Riddler (Brian C) for James' 5th birthday - or don wings and sparkly make-up like a fairy godmother to entertain and dazzle little girls (Laurie C) for Anna's 7th birthday. And now, awesome ('real' - as Jack would say) musicians - who play in 'real' bands - to come and play and make our little boy's dreams come true.
Scott Rankin, from the Kenny George Band, is such a friend. Despite feeling cruddy and like he was coming down with a bug (not to mention tired from playing a late night gig in Greenville - over an hour away - the night before) he willingly came with guitar, speaker, microphone, and amp - and played along with Jack.
Yes. I said with. It was awesome. He played guitar and sang while Jack banged along on his drums. And I gotta say - the kid actually has rhythm. And he took his job very seriously. He watched Scott intently for timing and cues for his drum solos and big finishes.
But wait - it gets better. In addition to playing along with Jack - Scott welcomed audience participation - and before we knew it - we had a great background percussion group.
These kids had a ball.
Including the entourage of girl groupies pictured in the photo above. They all heart Jack. Apparently he's the school heart throb. (Can't say I blame them. He is pretty cute.)
It truly was an awesome time. I loved hearing Scott play - and was particularly proud when he told Jack they were going to play 'Brown Eyed Girl' and delighted, Jack piped up 'Hey - my mommy has that on her phone!' See. I do know SOME cool songs.
After the concert was over - it was time for cake. I actually made the coolest electric guitar cake. And it looked really good! I even impressed myself! But the best part was Jack's utter delight - and jumping up and down when he saw it. It could have looked like an old tennis shoe - but as long as he loved it - it didn't matter. (But thankfully - it didn't.) Unfortunately - I didn't take a good photo of it. I thought I did - but must have been distracted (imagine that?) so no good total snaps of it. Oh well. I'll remember it in my mind's eye.
And surely make it look better there than it did in real life.
Our little Jack is a very loved boy. In addition to Scott playing especially for his party, he was also serenaded by another musician - Jack 'Bigger' - so coined by 'Little Jack' to differentiate between the two boys of the same name. Jack (who came early to the party to help set up) decided he wanted to play for the birthday, had his mom bring his sax, then got online, downloaded the music to 'Happy Birthday' and played it perfectly while we sang.
Love that boy. If Little Jack turns out half as awesome as Jack Bigger - we'll have done a great job as parents.
I think it's safe to say this little boy's birthday wishes came true.
All in all a party fit for a rock star.
My rock star.