Last night I surprised River with a trip to the United Center for Disney’s Frozen on Ice. She wore her Elsa dress and I braided my hair like Anna and put on an Anna-esque top. We brought our Olaf. Yes. We were kind of adorable.
And we were on a tight budget so we used the Chicago Public School’s discount coupon for $15 tickets. Which placed in section 315 all the way up in the rafters. The stairs leading up were so steep and narrow that I actually worried for our safety. But we made it to the top-second to last row in our section and made our way to the middle seats. I was afraid River would be disappointed with our view but she was enthralled to be there.
Yes, these were definitely the cheap seats but the families in our section were not complaining. The row behind us unpacked bags of snacks and drinks and at one point I swear I heard someone say, “pass the sour cream.” The two little girls to our right were so freaking excited and belted out every song and encouraged River to do the same. River and I handed out glow stick bracelets to all the kids we could reach. Such joy , appreciation and gratitude for a gift I bought for 15 for a dollar!
The show was fun, even from such great heights.
The benefit of that vantage point was that you could see all the projections on the ice and the full view of all of the skaters. River loved loved loved it. I enjoyed singing along with all the kids and laughing at how enthusiastic they were. When the wolves came out the girls behind us were screaming, “LOOK OUT! WOLVES! BAD WOLVES!” There was a lot of cheering and screaming and talking and nobody cared or complained. We were all just having fun with our kids and letting them be kids.
Then intermission came and River announced that she was done and wanted to come home. I was suspicious of this. I didn’t mind going home but I didn’t want to walk all the way around the building, down to the first floor and then have her change her mind. I asked her over and over if she was sure and she insisted that she wanted to go home and have French fries. So we packed up all our stuff and said goodbye to our friends and started the trek out. It took forever but we got to the parking lot door AND SHE ANNOUNCED THAT SHE WANTED MORE SHOW. No amount of trickery was going to get her to leave so we started hiking back around to our section. I tried to crash the first floor section and we watched from a perfect vestibule for about 8 minutes-just long enough to see the big snow monster and trolls-before we were kicked out by the ushers. We tried one more section and no amount of begging and explaining that there was not that much show left and I couldn’t stand the thought of trying to drag my three year old back to the roof tops was going to buy us any more time.
Getting back up this late in the show was challenging. I was hot, frustrated and almost in tears and now we had to climb back up to the top. We finally got to our section and again I asked an usher if we could just stand there so I didn’t have to climb the treacherous stairs, in the dark, with a three year old in a long dress. No. Either go back to our seats or leave. Damnit. I tried to see in the darkness where our seats were and if they were even still available. And then it happened.
Everyone who we had given the glow sticks to started waving them at us, directing us back to our open seats. They cheered our return, so happy we came back. Nobody complained that we had to climb over them to get back to our seats. It was such a great moment. “You’re back!” “We were sad that you left!”
When the show was over we were all smiles and every one complimented each other.
“You’re dress is beautiful!” “Your singing was amazing!” “You made the show!” “What great kids you have!” One of the Dad’s turned to me “You have Anna braids! You need the white streak!” Me-“The streak! How could I forget?!” We all laughed. “I am so glad you guys came back!”
We came to the show, just the two of us, and by the end it was like we left with 20 new friends.
And then we went home and had French fries.