Miss Harper is a HUGE musical theatre fan. She has been singing since she could talk and she hasn’t stopped since. The moment she heard the Hamilton soundrack she absolutely fell in love. I have never seen her so obsessed/passionate about something. Before long she had EVERY.SINGLE.lyric/note/beat/breath memorized. She has watched every clip on YouTube and she follows Hamilton on IG as well all of the original cast. Sidenote- LIN PLEASE GET IG!
We knew that it wasn’t likely that we’d ever get to see the show. Well, at least anytime soon. We had heard a rumor that they recorded the original cast to do an eventual movie adaptation so we were holding out for that. And even though Hamilton was coming to DC, it is right after we move to Alaska. I would enter the lottery every day on the Hamilton app and just pray that I could somehow give her her dream one day.
Fast forward to a few months ago. A dear friend of mine told me that she had a connection to the show and that she could get me super reasonably priced GOOD seats. I chose a three day window (January 9,10,11) and gave her all of my billing info, etc. From that point there was nothing to do but wait.
I didn’t hear anything and I honestly figured that I wasn’t chosen. On January 8 my fairy godmother contacted me and told me that we were chosen BUT we didn’t know WHICH SHOW we were chosen for.
Now, luckily NYC is an easy train ride away but I’d be lying if I said the anxiety didn’t almost do me in. I was like a headless chicken with floppy limbs, running in a circle. For 2 whole days.
It could have been:
January 9 7 pm
January 10 2 pm
January 10 8 pm
January 11 7 pm
I was obsessively charting train times and researching hotels and trying to plan childcare and meal plan and get everything ready and it was NUTS. Meanwhile I had to act completely nonchalant and normal around Harper which was not easy for me. AT ALL. So many secret excited tears! So many hushed conversations with Jimmy!
January 8 passed and then January 9 and then it was the morning of January 10. Jimmy and I honestly figured that for whatever reason the tickets hadn’t worked out and my friend hadn’t heard anything and she was just as panicked as I was. HA!
Wednesday morning I was at Target with Cora when I received a text from my friend. It said: “Good morning. Feel like running on up to Manhattan this evening? 8pm show. Hamilton. I hear it’s pretty good.”
Yep. That was my response. I basically started crying in the middle of Target because I was so excited to be able to make Harper’s number one wish come true. I drove home and started packing like a crazy person. I booked Amtrak tickets and a hotel and found someone who could take Cora. I had 2 hours until I had to leave. It was total chaos. HA!
I jumped in the car and went to school to get Harper. I had a big maniacal grin on my face and I was waving like a deranged person because I didn’t want her to think anything was wrong. A military kid thinks certain things automatically when someone gets her from school.
Sidenote: MY FREAKING PHONE DIED (thanks apple, yes i’ll take your $20 battery but i sure wish i would have known about it before this little trip!) before I told her but another teacher recorded me surprising her. Still waiting for him to email it to me!
Her response was incredible. Automatic tears and so many hugs.
Here she is in the car right after I told her:
I mean, is that not the SWEETEST thing you’ve ever seen? She kept saying THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!
We booked it to the train station and got on the 2:00 train to Penn Station.
On the train she was just so freaking happy. She listened to Hamilton all the way:
Once we got there we grabbed an Uber and checked into the hotel. I chose Hampton Inn Times Square North. The location is outstanding and the military family rate can’t be beat. $90 a night! We didn’t have a ton of time so we walked through Times Square and grabbed a slice of pizza.
Then we ran to Duane Reade to get a Sharpie for post-show autographs and went to Richard Rodgers Theatre to pick up our tickets at the box office.
Then we went to stand in the line to get in. Everyone was so excited and happy in the line and I ended up chatting with the lady behind us in line. She’s from Houston (where I was raised) and has FIVE DAUGHTERS. How crazy is that? Such a small world.
At this point Harper just kept saying “This feels like a dream. Mommy, does this feel like a dream to you?”
Once we got inside we LOST OUR MINDS at how good our seats were.
Then the show started an I cannot even tell you how amazing the entire experience was. My girl sat next to me silently mouthing every single word. I’m not exaggerating. She kept grabbing my arm and each time I looked at her I could see tears in her eyes and goosebumps on her arms. It was such a moving experience. And the show? MAGIC. As I knew it would be. Just something I will never ever forget. We definitely went through all of the tissues in my purse.
When the show was over we saw that it was 11 and that it might be best to just head back to the hotel vs. waiting outside of the stage door for autographs.
But when we walked out of the theatre we realized that we’d somehow beat almost everyone out of the show and that there wasn’t really anyone standing at the stage door. So of course we bellied up to the crowd divider. Literally straight across from the exit.
At this point my phone was dead AGAIN- can you tell this was a last minute trip and that I didn’t have much time to prepare? And I thought that I’d just have to not have photos but these sweet girls behind me (again from TX!!) had Harper get in their cast selfies and then they texted me the pics. How awesome is that?
This is Jevon McFerrin. He’s a standby for A.Ham and he was INCREDIBLE. Random factoid: His dad is Bobby McFerrin of Don’t Worry Be Happy fame. Kid was so charismatic and kind and genuine. He stopped and talked to Harper about her first Broadway show…and well I think her face says it all. I’ve never seen her smile like that.
This is James Monroe Iglehart. He played Lafayette/Jefferson. I can’t even tell y’all how amazing he was. He totally added his own flair and he was an absolute joy to watch. He’s best known for his Tony winning turn as the genie in Aladdin!
We realized as we fell asleep that the next morning was Alexander Hamilton’s birthday. Is that not the most serendipitous thing you’ve ever heard? I had no idea when I chose those three dates randomly!
I can’t put into words or even begin to describe how special it was to be able to orchestrate this moment for Harper . It was the most moving experience and neither one of us will ever forget it.
I feel like parenting (especially tweens/teens) can be so scary and confusing and messy and all over the place. I have no idea what I’m doing half the time and I just hope I’m doing more good than harm. To be able to experience this with her and connect with her in this way as possibly the best thing I’ll ever be able to do for her.