Complete focus.

We took Nick out to the Malin Hotel to see his favorite singer, Shunie Crampsey.  Nick is typically predictable.  Some of this is his autistic behaviors, some is his determination.  When we go out in Ireland, he likes a specific beverage that he only orders in Ireland – blackcurrant syrup with white lemonade in a pint glass with no ice.  (White lemonade is similar to 7-Up, but not as sweet.)  You can see it on the table next to him in the picture.  Usually, he is also holding his spinner string and at least one of his airplanes.

Because of the schedule we maintain to try to control his seizures, Nick hasn’t been out late in Ireland for over three years.  Musicians usually start playing after 10 pm and Nick is supposed to be in bed then.  He has missed “seeing Shunie”, as he calls it.  In preparation, we had him take a three-hour nap in the afternoon so, hopefully, he could be up late safely.

When we arrived at the Malin Hotel at 9:30 pm, the place was already packed.  The only open table was one in the middle of the room, which Nick was happy to sit at.  It was directly in front of Shunie.  A couple sitting at the side were just about to leave, so they offered us their table.  Nick was reluctant to move, but we prevailed because he decided it was ok after all.  The table we sat at was actually closer to Shunie.  He was happy.

Nick was impatient.  He wanted his drink right away, so we took care of that.  Then he wanted to know when Shunie was going to start playing.  Shunie overheard Nick’s comment.  Laughing he told him that it would be a wee while yet.  It is hard for Nick to be patient.

When Shunie did sit behind his piano, Nick purposely placed his airplanes, spinner and drink on the table and turned around, his back to us.  We laughed.  Nick sat that way for the next two and a half hours.  When we tried to engage him in conversation, or get him to drink some of his drink, he would quickly shake his head, “No, no, I listening to Shunie.”

When the last song was finished, and Shunie got up from his chair, he came over and thanked Nick for coming.  After saying goodbye to his favorite artist, Nick turned around, downed his drink and said, “Let’s go.”  That was it, we were done.  Of course it was 12:30 am and both Arden and I were tired too.  In the car on the way home, Nick said, “I love seeing Shunie.  You love it too?”

It is amazing how Nick can focus for hours sometimes and then seem to have no attention span at other times.  It was incredible to watch.  Arden and I are grateful we can give Nick an experience that he truly enjoys.  The effort to get him over here is definitely worth it.

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