I never had any family traditions around the holidays. I never really gave it any thought until I actually had children of my own. I love the idea of looking forward to the same special thing or event every year - a moment, or day that I can share with my girls and always hold near and dear to my heart. I decided to take it upon myself to start the tradition of taking my girls on a mother/daughter date to see the Nutcracker every year around Christmas.
As I have talked about many times on the blog, dance has been a huge part of my life - and really a part of who I am. I love all types of dance and have studied most of them at some point or another in my life (and had the shoes to prove it). In the last few months M has developed a love of ballet. I started her in classes back in September, but even before that she was running around the house dancing and saying "mom! Look at this arabesque!" thanks to June from the Little Einsteins. When I purchased the tickets for the Nutcracker back in the fall she and I started watching videos from different productions on You Tube. She knew a lot of the music already, again thanks to Little Einsteins, and old Mickey Mouse cartoons like The Three Musketeers, so she was hooked instantly.
Yesterday we got all dressed in matching outfits (see above for our Golden Girls - as Marlo called us - photo shoot) and headed into the city for the 1 PM matinee. I had tears in my eyes from the moment we stepped into the gorgeous lobby of the Boston Opera House. Looking down at my little girl smiling ear to ear as we headed into the theater just warmed my heart. "Are we going to see the Sugar Plum Fairy soon?" She sat in her booster seat (and we had damn good seats too) with her little paper crown on that one of the students gave her in the lobby, and asked me repeatedly when she was going to see her beloved Sugarplum Fairy. And then the curtain went up...
...and M fell dead asleep.
My heart broke a little as she laid on my lap and snored away. I tried again and again to wake her up to see the dancers, but nope, she was out like a light. And you know what? I don't blame her. I forgot how boring and dark the first half of the Nutcracker is! Luckily she awoke when intermission began, I pumped her full of M&Ms and she was back. The Sugarplum Fairy came on stage in her sparkling tutu and M just put her arms around me and gave me a huge kiss and didn't let go while her precious Fairy danced on stage. And of course I started to cry...it was a moment I will never forget.
Who knows if dance will mean so much to her in the years to come, but right now she is my little ballerina who makes up her own ballet moves with funny names and "gran jetes" around the house ever chance she gets. I look forward to Val joining us on our yearly adventure into the city, but definitely won't be until she is at least 4 as my little monkey does not sit still!