I Once Threw Shade at The Nutcracker
It’s the holiday season. With an abundance of traditional and festive options, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is one of the most popular winter seasonal highlights for many. And, I admit that I was not a fan of the beloved Nutcracker, until now. My mom and my daughter Blanche have made an annual pilgrimage to see this beloved ballet throughout the years. I am invited each year and decline.
Rising to the Occasion Because Your Kid Asks You To
This year, my mom was unable to take Blanche on their traditional outing. So, I made arrangements for Blanche to see the show, but Blanche wanted me to come, too. I had no interest. I saw it once as a child, and that was enough for me.
Though, when your kid asks you to go to the ballet, and her Grandmother can’t go, you rise to the occasion. For two hours, I was mesmerized. I loved everything in this holiday treasure. We saw a stellar production at the Baltimore School for the Arts. From the costumes and makeup to the dancing and the facial expressions, we were given a beautiful gift for the holidays and beyond. I tried to understand deeper meanings of The Nutcracker. But deeper meanings pertaining to the story were unneeded. The meanings in my own story is what unfolded. It was beautiful, and draining, and a gift received from self reflection. It was like believing in the magic of the Clara’s dream and the magic of the holidays.
The Magic of The Nutcracker Gave Me Gifts, Too
For the first time, I was engaged in the actual event. I usually photograph events so I miss being in the moment as I am “focused” on my job. I never realized this. But I enjoy it. And, I usually watch the expressions on my kids’ faces when we are sharing an experience, but I am never in the moment of the activity. My happiness is gained by watching my kids experience the moment. I don’t remember how I experienced things before they were born, but as they grow older, I am sure that I will need to relearn how to be in the moment for myself. Perhaps, The Nutcracker gave me a gift, too.
Several days have passed since the ballet. And, I don’t recall watching my daughter’s expressions during the performance. I was most engaged in the actual performance. She doesn’t understand that my experience differs from her experiences. She doesn’t know that I receive much joy out of watching her and her siblings experience happiness rather than enjoying the actual outing itself. She feels that we went to the show together and shared that journey, which is also true. For her, it is that simple. The moment I treasure most from this outing is that my daughter so much wanted to be with me, and I experienced actually being in the moment. We were both happy. We supported the arts. And perhaps the arts supported me in my personal growth.
I Understand the Best of the Holiday Season
I finally found the love that many have experienced through The Nutcracker thanks to my daughter, my mom, and the talented performers. Perhaps this journey of being in the moment, for myself, and with my family, represents the best of the holiday season.