My Heart is Full

I never envisioned myself as a girl mom. I always saw myself with four boys, who played soccer and football and did boy things.  Maybe this is because I grew up with brothers, maybe it is because I don’t consider myself very girly. Maybe it is because the whole Disney princess thing makes me break out in hives. The point is, when I found out I was having a girl, I was shocked and unprepared. But there was one thing that I looked forward to with a girl – the Nutcracker. (I should say that having a girl is pretty fantastic and now I look at little boys and think they are an alien species and I still want four but I hope they are all girls.)

I went to the Nutcracker every year as a little girl  and I have loved it ever since. I’ve seen many versions (though not the Pacific Northwest Ballet version,which I hope will change in the next year.) I’ve been waiting to take Lila since she was born and this year I discovered an “abridged” version put on by a local ballet school. We bought tickets and put it on the calendar. Lila counted down the days, as did I.

When we arrived at the theater, Lila was excited. We found our seats, Lila hopped into her very own seat and then? Then she freaked the heck out. Be it the fact that we were in the balcony, or the large nutcracker projected on the screen on stage, or all the other people, Lila just wanted to go home. I convinced her to sit on my lap, where she curled up with her head in my chest and hands over her ears. And she stayed like that until the first ballerina appeared on stage. Then she decided to take a peek at what was on stage and soon was transfixed until intermission, when she insisted we hurry back to our seats so we didn’t miss any of the dance. She asked lots of questions and had a running commentary, but the important thing is she loved it. As we sat together watching the final pas de deux with the Sugar Plum Fairy, I held my little girl and cried happy tears, thankful to be a girl mom.

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