Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hairoes and friends

I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating: Dierks and Cassidy Bentley are the nicest people on the planet.

I imagine their lives are a little busy right now. Baby Evie is almost five months old. Dierks is promoting Feel That Fire - out less than a month and already number one on the country album charts. Our TiVo memory is full of his recent television appearances. He's on the road touring with Brad Paisley. I think they've got a lot going on.

And yet, somehow, Bud got a package in the mail last week with a postmark from Nashville, Tennessee. I knew instantly who'd sent it, since I'd gotten an e-mail from Cassidy with a heads-up that it might arrive soon.

"Bud!" I called. "You have a package!"

He came running. "A package for me?"

"It's from Nashville, Tennessee. Do you know who lives in Nashville?"

"Who does?"

"It's a friend of yours who has curly hair."


Bud tore into the package, then smiled the kind of smile that starts around the toenails, then radiates out through the top of the head.

He pulled out an 8x10 picture of his friend Dierks, taken back when his hair was closely cropped. It used to be the look (the only look) that Bud preferred, but Bud's come a long way since then and he now prefers Dierks' current look - the one he calls "the new curly hair." In fact, just last Saturday Bud asked his own hair stylist if she could give him "curly hair like Dierks Bentley," but when she started talking about perms, Bud quickly interrupted her and said "I'm just joking." (He was delighted to find, though, that because he pulled on his winter hat after leaving the salon with damp hair, his hair was sticking out at angles from his head later in the day, making him crow, "Just like Dierks!")

Bud loved the short-haired picture just the same, especially when we read what Dierks had written across it: "Bud, Still waiting on the new pictures w/ my longer hair!!! I'll get you one of those as soon as I get them! - Dierks Bentley"

Then Bud took a second item out of the package - a copy of Feel That Fire, the album he's been singing nonstop for weeks, with the same familiar scrawl across the front: "Bud, Thanks dude! Thanks for being my #1 fan!!! - Dierks Bentley"

And Bud really is his number one fan - though recently, it seems Bud's become a fan of the whole Bentley family. He got the People magazine country music edition for Valentine's Day, and since then he's been carrying it around, opened to the two-page photo spread of Dierks, Cassidy, and Evie. He dines with them, reads stories with them, and makes sure they're settled before he turns in for the night. Bud also insists that the woman who sings backing vocals on Feel That Fire's romantic "I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes" is Cassidy. (It's not, of course, but I think Bud simply can't entertain the notion that Dierks is two-timing with someone else.) It even appears that, despite his general unease with babies, Bud has decided that Evie Bentley must be one of the "good ones."

He's planning on writing a thank-you note this weekend, and I'm fascinated to see what he'll come up with. As for me, I have not begun to find words to let the Bentleys know how touched I am by their kindness, how moved I am by their efforts to connect with a boy who can find it so hard to connect.

Bud struggles with interpersonal interaction. He shies away from social situations. But I will tell you this: when it comes to friendships, Bud sure knows how to pick them.


Kitt said...

I'll say! Awesome friends indeed.

Robin said...

wow- they are some really really nice people! I think I need to by his album just for how great he was to Bud!!

Chris said...

I think I'll stop over on iTunes and buy an album today. What a wonderful friend Bud has!

Anonymous said...

That's just fabulous. Fiercely loyal friends are few and far between in most people's lives. I think that our children keep those few and precious connections much more deeply.
Best wishes

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful gift. And again, what a wonderful sense of humour Bud has. This lad of yours is growing in so very many ways. Brava Mama! Bravo Bud!

Niksmom said...

*sniffle* That's one sweet dude. And the Bentley' Is his tour taking him *anywhere* near you guys that you could take Bud to a show?

Fleecy said...

Wow, that's really sweet of them. That's great! It's nice to hear about people doing nice things just because.

Melissa said...

That is so awesome. I always think of Bud (and you) whenever I hear a Dierks song.

MOM-NOS said...

Niksmom, there are actually multiple shows within a reasonable distance, but I'm afraid that the concert experience - the crowd, the volume, the lighting, the complete unpredictability of it all - would be a sensory nightmare for Bud. And the fact that it wouldn't even BEGIN until a half hour after bedtime... it's just a disaster waiting to happen.

BUT, I'm likely to catch a show (or two...), and I promise that I'll do my best to enjoy it enough for both of us.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the next big hit should be "Feel that Friendship!"

Stimey said...

Wow. That is incredible. You know, people that really have no need to reach out to your little guy and they take the time to do it over and over? That's pretty incredible.

I think I've said it before about this family, but they truly give me hope.

Fittingly, my word verification is "sated." That's just how I feel after reading this.

MOM-NOS said...

Sorry, folks - in the interest of responsible journalism I had to make an edit, as it seems I'd done some shoddy fact-checking before publishing this post.

So, let the record show: Bud will happily acquiesce that Dierks is singing with Patty Griffin on "Beautiful World." His insistence is actually that Cassidy MUST be the woman singing with Dierks on a song as romantic as "I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes."

I stand corrected.

Robin said...

I am glad to hear that your ethics remain as high as I remember them ;)

David said...

And smiling from the toenails on up is another sign of wonderfulness! Bet that's gonna be one sweet thank you note!

Anonymous said...

May the Bentleys never have a messy celebrity breakup/rehab stint/drunken car crash/stash of decomposing body parts discovered in their basement.