We have a ritual in our family, that after the end of the school year, J & I offer the boys a congratulatory gift. It's our way of saying thanks for doing your best in school, you're done so let's party!!!
Usually we offer the kids a monetary value so that they can buy something that they've had their eyes on. This is big, because the *only* times we parental units buy the boys something is if it's their birthday, Xmas, they have done something amazing and we want to say thank you, or the end of school. The rest of the time they earn whatever they buy through their allowance.
This year however, as I was in the car listening to my AM news radio, an interview with the NC Symphony was on and I heard about an upcoming concert that I thought Xavier and Ashe would go CRAZY for. It was the first ever in Raleigh, Video Games Live symphony: a symphony of music straight out of video games.
My thought was that this would be the perfect way to introduce the symphony to the boys. What a wonderful cultural experience, catered to their very hobbies!
J & I offered the boys the option for their usual shopping outing, or this unique opportunity for their graduation gift. They did not disappoint me, and by a unanimous vote, we were going to the symphony.
One of the cool side events going on would be a costume contest of your favorite video game character. Ashe was all set. Since he has been wearing the same Link costume on an almost daily basis for two years, it was a no brainer.
Xavier decided that he also wanted to dress up... mere hours before the concert started. Of course it couldn't be simple either. Oh no! It had to be something elaborate. He decided that he wanted to be Altair, from Assassins Creed.
|Altair from Assassins Creed|
I had no clue where to start. I don't sew well, nor did I have a random white bed sheet lying around the house. Instead, I tossed every article of fabric we owned around my bedroom, trying to figure out how the hell I was going to make even a similar costume for Xavier. Then my eyes landed on a black pillowcase, and I remembered that I had two cloaks I used for Halloween last year that might work. Add in my leather bracers, my calf high boots, a pair of khakis, and a plastic dagger.... and we might have something.
I whipped out the pillowcase, grabbed my scissors, and got to work. 90 minutes and 25 safety pins later, and we were ready for the symphony!
|Xavier (Altair) & Ashe (Link) ready to go to their first symphony|
Now, I was asked by friends why I didn't join the boys and dress up too? I love dressing up and would have done so except for one factor. Xavier was wearing 2/3 of my go to costume. I think the only two things he didn't use of mine were my leather pants (which I wore that night) and my corset (which would have looked awkward on my eleven year old son, and I wasn't going down that road!)
|Posing with the boys|
While I did not get the chance to dress up due to my motherly sacrifice, J actually did! Not that anyone would know it. But I promise you, J dressed up as his avatar....his Xbox avatar. To prove to everyone that J thoughtfully picked out his costume for the symphony, I did a side by side comparison of J's Xbox avatar and J himself outside the symphony:
|pretty uncanny how accurate that is, huh?|
We get to the concert hall an hour before it starts. Within moments of us pushing open the doors, Xavier and Ashe were bombarded by adults, both in costume and not, exclaiming over how cute they were, or how cool they looked. Both boys ate this up, Ashe swinging his sword around yelling "HYAH!" or playing his plastic ocarina. Xavier would pose, head tilted down, looking up under the shadow of his hood, then pulling out a plastic dagger from his bracer. And the crowd ate it up like crack.
I put the bys names down for the costume contest, something I thought would be a simple affair out in the lobby. But oh no. When the time came for the contest to start, the guy in charge started leading everyone and their parents through a long corridor, down a set of stairs, and finally into a stairwell, where the contestants were prepped to go on stage. Huh. Didn't see that coming.
While J & I stayed backstage, all contestants walked on stage to a thundering applause. I was able to sneak out and grab a few photos of Xavier and Ashe:
|Ashe & Xavier onstage with another Link, Princess Peach, and TF2 sniper|
|Photo of Ashe taken by the NC Symphony after his win.|