We ended up in seats that money can’t buy at the Taylor Swift concert last Saturday night.
It started in March when we received two tickets at reasonable prices through the Verified Fan lottery system. Peter and I then decided to rescind our Christmas gift to our kids and we bought three more tickets (at exorbitant prices) for the concert. The problem was, we bought tickets for Saturday night. We received tickets for Friday night.
I spent four days emailing SeatGeek to try to rectify the situation. Finally, they gave us three new tickets on the floor of the stadium. In other words, we got a huge upgrade free of charge. Which was amazingly awesome. Except that, we now had three seats on the floor and two in the nosebleeds, and you aren’t allowed to move back and forth between the two. We didn’t know how we would handle it, and I became a nervous ball of anxiety berating myself for not having tickets altogether and just wishing there was some way to change the way this was all working out.
On Saturday night, I found a security guard and explained that we wanted our three kids to take the seats on the floor. Peter and I would go up to the rafters. “But,” I said, “our seventeen-year-old daughter has Down syndrome. She’s very small, and I’m not sure she’ll be able to see anything from the floor.”
He said he would help us decide who wanted to sit in which place. Peter and Penny arrived. The guard who was helping escorted us to a platform at the back of the floor. We climbed a ramp and took the corner of a platform, next to a woman in a wheelchair and a few seats down from a small crowd of deaf women and men.
We were together as a family on the platform reserved for people with disabilities for the entire show. We had some of the best seats in the house.
We watched the sign language interpreters sign. We chatted with the woman using a wheelchair. We danced and sang and got absolutely drenched by torrents of rain. It was glorious. And beautiful.
It was beautiful to be at this glitzy, over-the-top, entertainment-event-of-the-decade, gazillion-dollar production, alongside the other people with disabilities. Sitting amongst the people who are most likely to go unnoticed, to be overlooked. Sitting amongst our people. With exuberance. And gratitude. And wonder. In the best seats in the house.
And that’s the thing. We didn’t get the best seats in the house through manipulation. We didn’t get them through scheming. We didn’t get them through money. We got them because we expressed our need and we were shown kindness. We got them because the Americans with Disabilities Act provides for people with particular needs, like ours. And I do believe we got them because of grace, abundant love that flows down like rain when we are least anticipating it and not deserving it and unbelievably grateful to receive it.
The next morning, we were gushing about the whole experience and I said something about having seats we couldn’t have paid for if we had tried. Penny smiled and said, deadpan, “You’re welcome.”
More with Amy Julia:
- I Want Our Kids to Accomplish Things, Not Achieve Them
- When We Talk for 20 Minutes
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