Yesterday, against advice to the contrary, my parents and I took the girls–even Sage–to their first ballet, a suburban production of the Nutcracker.
They loved it. Oh God how they loved it.
The curtain rose, and Thalia gasped, clutching hands to mouth as the dancers took the stage. Are they real people? she whispered, hardly believing that such a thing was possible. Even Sage, our little soccer hooligan, applauded wildly and squealed YAYYYYYYY! in the quiet theater between every scene.
I sat there and sniffled in the dark, unable to control the emotions it triggered and how it brought back all the dreams of my own ballet-adoring youth. I remember truly believing that one day, if I wanted enough I might, meet the Sugarplum Fairy.
I might also be able to ride in a magic sleigh. That flew! (Also, all the Monopoly money was real and I could eat our dishes just like in the Candyman song.)
The performance didn’t end with the second act. Later that night after lighting the first Hanukkah candle, Thalia wriggled into her very first pink leotard and tutu and tights and ballet slippers, all in the perfect shade of petal pink. Grandma and Papa and I cranked up the Nutcracker CD and watched her spin and twirl and leap and fall and rebound and spin some more, right through the very last track.
I couldn’t find my camera. I was crushed.
When I did find my camera I realized the light was terrible.
It didn’t matter.
It didn’t matter.
Because I was there.
Something I think I forget sometimes. Maybe we all forget it? The blogger’s lament.
I danced around the living room with my daughters and crying again and laughing and twirling them around while they giggled with insane joy. We danced until I couldn’t anymore. Thalia would have gone through the whole soundtrack a second time if we had let her.
It was one of those moments you envision when you give birth to a little girl, only you can’t quite be sure how it will play out. The faces are blurry. The details are unclear.
Last night it all came together.