We’d had our Ed Sheeran tickets nearly a year, my husband had decided to sacrifice his ticket so that my daughter could go and we were counting down the days to the concert.
Then my son took part in the county athletics championships in the long jump.
When he filled in his form to register, there was a question – would he be available for the regional championships on 16th June if he qualified?
16th June. The day of the Ed Sheeran concert.
He looked at me and I looked at him. I was speechless. I felt myself wobble.
‘I’ll do it. I’m going to do it. I want to do it.’
He loves his athletics so much and was so excited at the prospect of representing the county in the regional athletics competition that he was willing to sacrifice the coveted Ed Sheeran ticket. It looked like my husband would be going to the concert after all.
But how would my son get to the athletics completion?
There would be a coach. Setting off at 7.30 in the morning and getting home late in the evening.
My boy was willing to let the Ed Sheeran concert go and travel on a coach for hours with a bunch of strangers in the interests of doing long jump. I was impressed. But also a little sad, as we’d looked forward to the concert for so long.
The standard in the long jump competition was high, as you would expect at a county championship. But it was clear that three boys were ahead of the others.
My son came third, with a new PB of 5 metres 43cm. I was so pleased for him.
The county could take up to three competitors for each event to the regional championships, but my son was 2cm short of the qualifying standard. They would need to decide whether or not to take him.
We had a long wait until late the next evening. I was starting to think they’d decided he wouldn’t go, then he came bouncing downstairs. He was going! He was so excited.
I hoped my parents would be around to pick him up from the bus when he got home. It was going to be a very long day, but he wasn’t fazed by it at all.
But then my husband came up with an amazing idea. He would drive my son to the competition (about two hours away). My daughter and I would catch a train in the afternoon to Swindon, then my husband would drive to Swindon with my son to pick us up and drive us all to London for the concert, before driving us all home again late at night.
Not only was he not taking the Ed Sheeran ticket back, he was willing to do all of that driving so that my son could go to the concert. I was in awe. He didn’t need to do that, my son was perfectly willing to let the ticket go. And that’s exactly why he did do it. A lot of kids would have kicked up a fuss and either refused to give up the ticket or moaned about going on the bus, but my son did neither of those things. He was calm and mature about the whole situation. And my husband felt he should be rewarded for that.
I must admit, the whole thing made me nervous, there was so much that could go wrong. And I did worry about my husband being tired, but he is used to driving long distances.
As predicted, it took them two hours to get to the competition in Exeter, which went brilliantly (more on that another time). Then it was a two hour drive to pick us up from Swindon, then another two hours to Wembley. It all went remarkably smoothly
The concert was amazing and well worth the stress. I’m so grateful to my husband for sorting it out for my son – and then driving us home for another two hours late at night.
The athlete went to the Ed Sheeran concert after all.