Friday, March 29, 2013

WinterJam 2013

My ears are still ringing! (Patti said her bottom was buzzing or tingling or something but that is another story she can tell!) 4 + hours of high decibel and extremely loud music and LOW vibrate your insides bass (is there something lower than bass?).

Talking Winter Jam 2013 – a sort of group tour with some well-known and up-and-comers in the Christian music scene. I confess I had only heard of a few of them and some of those only because my two younger daughters are CRAZY about them.

I haven’t been to any concerts in a couple of years and the last ones I recall were James Taylor, Brooks and Dunn and Springsteen. Let’s just say last night was nothing like any of these.

For a moment forget that this was as much about the message as the music. Did I already say this was loud? Staging was a big deal. Multiple screens, live video feeds along with lyrics, graphics – I guess this is a new definition of live multimedia. I tried to take some pictures but we were in nosebleed territory – literally on the top top row of JQH Arena and my iPhone lens would only do so much. Did I mention pyrotechnics? I didn’t even know you could legally do that anymore!

Lights never stopped moving. Performers were all over the place. Always something happening; it seemed liked everywhere. In some ways it was almost an assault on the senses (no offense to the artists.)

30+ years ago, a church I was attending planned on having 2nd Chapter of Acts play a small concert but it got cancelled because a few of the members thought it might be too loud and offensive for church.

My how times have changed.

One group that I had somehow heard of but never heard was Red. I guess they are considered alt-grunge-rock. All I could think of was Steampunk. Is there a musical genre for Steampunk? If so, they fit my perception of that.  They dress in a sort of “dystopian” mix of disheveled-ness (is that a word?) and play about as loud as anything I’ve ever heard. But the kids seemed to love it, moving all the time to the music. Certainly not my cup of tea but then again I’m a 60-year-old-fart!

The top bill for the evening was Toby Mac. He is 40-something years old! Still moves and raps with the energy of a 20-something and the kids (and my wife!) love him. I appreciate his talents and that he’s been doing this for a couple of decades.

My favorite was another guy I had never heard of – Mathew West. First off I could take my earplugs out and listen. Secondly he told stories and how stories helped him write his songs. They had some depth and ended up buying his CD – only $5. How could I pass it up? Listened to it twice today on my commute.

A (mostly) pretty fun, long and late evening with Patti and the girls but until my ears stop ringing, might be awhile before we do that again!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

more on being an Aspie parent

Still reading Far From the Tree and trying to understand Asperger’s and how I’m supposed to respond and be a parent. I mentioned once before this has to be the hardest, most thought provoking book I’ve ever read.

Today I ran across this:

“I see a picture in my mind of the cavemen talking around the campfire, and off in the corner, there’s the Aspie guy, and he’s chipping the first stone spear, figuring out how to tie it to a stick, cutting some animals sinews to do it. Social people don’t make technology.”       Temple Grandin

Much of the Autism chapter I’m reading tells of the conflicts even within the Autistic community between acceptance, working to find a cure, a cause, how to treat it etc. There was a similar discussion in the chapter on deaf people. We hearing-people might think that every deaf person wants to hear like we do (OK, maybe not like me! – family joke.) but there is not a consensus. There is conflict among the deaf on how they should be taught to communicate and be educated and more.

As I read more about Asperger’s, and this is very hard for me to get my head (and heart) around, some folks glory in their Asperger-ness and wouldn’t trade it for anything. They just want to be accepted for who they are and be allowed to function in the world at large without a “disabling” label.

There are plenty of folks at other points on this spectrum who wish for a cure, better treatments etc. and look on Asperger’s and Autism as a disease to be cured and eliminated like smallpox; parents, patients and more.

As an Aspie-parent I’m struggling with the space in between this. What should I do to help my child? When do I leave my child alone to be who she is? Some of this is basic parenting; we teach and train all our children to get them ready to function on their own in the bigger world outside out front door. Sometimes actions and behaviors are inappropriate no matter what the label. But it is not always so clear where behaviors and attitudes begin and end.

Part of my struggle is to separate those things that are going to create a barrier to entry into that outside world and make it really tough to survive AND those things that are just part of who my child is that may not ever change or get better in the way I think they should be.

Again lots of space in between those two compass points but that’s where we live right now.

People often refer to the journey being the most enjoyable rather than arriving at their destination sometimes. Working on that.