When I first became a fan of the Backstreet Boys, I shared my love of them with my best friends. We would listen to their music and watch their videos on VHS tapes over and over. I was not a “teenie bopper” by any means. I was a 24-year-old working full time and taking full-time college credits. Did I think one day I would be still sharing my love with the backstreet boys 23 years later? No I did not. After 2008 I left the BSB fandom. My friends pretty much left the fandom after Millenium days.
But today I am here to tell you I am thankful to be back and it’s all because of my daughter Chloe.
Chloe is 7 years old and was diagnosed with Autism in the fall of 2016. She was non-verbal still at that time. She would only say less than 100 words at 4 years old. Most times if she wanted anything she used a visual board we created for her with her common wants and likes. Pictures included the foods she would eat, toys she played with and DVDs she would routinely watch on a daily basis. Chloe has always been smart about electronic devices. She has been playing on “momma’s phone” for years. One day I heard the Backstreet Boys playing. I look to see what she’s watching and it’s YouTube. Chloe is watching videos of the boys on her own. Proud Momma moment I must say. That was just the beginning of how Backstreet Boys helped my daughter.
After Chloe started watching videos, I started to watch them with her. It was the 1st time Chloe sat still and watched something with intent. She wasn’t playing or anything else… just watching the video.
I became a fan all over again. All the feelings I had for the boys came back.. Stronger than ever to be honest. I appreciated them more. I was very proud to love a boy band that was still together after 25 years. Now that it’s been 2 years since I came back to the fandom I am thankful how they brought joy to Chloe’s life.
Chloe has become more and more verbal over the last few years. Her growth can be measured by her LOVE of Kevin Richardson. She has bonded with him and I think he has grown fond of her although they have not physically met yet.
I saw the Backstreet Boys April 2019. I had a VIP table and was able to get a close up of Kevin during “More Than That”. This is Chloe’s favorite video to watch on my phone. She will request that video even during her bath time. She even uses her iPad she uses in school to request it.
For Christmas I created a book specially for Chloe with her favorite pictures I have taken and saved from the Backstreet Boys’ Instagram accounts. I knew she would love it, but I did not imagine how excited she would be.
I know that it would be impossible to have Chloe attend a BSB concert. Too many people and the music would be too loud for her. She has never liked wearing headphones, so the noise-canceling headphones just wouldn’t be the solution. I was in turmoil for weeks knowing the boys would be performing just a few miles away and Chloe would not be able to meet them. Until my mom came up with a plan. I would buy Chloe the cheapest ticket I could, buy us both meet & greet and then Chloe would meet the Backstreet Boys and not stay for the concert. It was the BEST decision we made. Now that the plan was in place I just have to have patience and wait for VIP to be announced. But I couldn’t help but post Chloe will be meeting the Backstreet Boys.
At the end of the day I am blessed that I am able to share my love for the Backstreet Boys with the LOVE of my life. Chloe is truly a blessing after trying to have a child for 10 years. I have had the pleasure of hugging the boys several times since July 2018. Chloe has no idea and no understanding that she will be meeting them this summer. But…that doesn’t stop her from practicing hugging them.