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    Her First Nutcracker

    December 13, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    Two weeks ago, I informed A. that we were going to go see the Nutcracker this year. She had been playing with my miniature nutcracker which appears somewhere around the living room shortly after Thanksgiving and remains in place until January 2. That was all I said, knowing that questions would be forthcoming.

    What is The Nutcracker?

    What is a ballet?

    Do I get to dance, too?

    The questions went on and on, and it was a delight to answer them all and watch the anticipation build as she realized that this Nutcracker idea was pretty significant.

    And then she asked another question: Can I wear my red dress? {Only it sounded like this: Can I wear my wed dwess?}

    Mommy wasn’t sure, so she asked around. There were four generations of us going: Great-Grandmother, Granmama, me, and A. The older three all concurred that the little one ought to wear The Red Dress.

    Even though we were going out to eat.

    He eyes were wide as saucers dessert plates when I told her.

    And then our new routine began. Every morning, she sleepily asked me while she stretched her wake-up stretch if today was the day of The Nutcracker. And every day I said no and then told her how many days it would be until the answer was yes.

    Yesterday morning, the answer was yes. She was dismayed, however, that I required her to eat breakfast in her pajamas before putting on said Red Dress.

    The day was wonderful. On the way, A. and I talked about how a ballet is when a group of dancers tell a story without words; they use music and dance instead, and they show you the story.

    She was so excited.

    Will it be beautiful? she wanted to know.

    I assured her it would.

    The four of us took photos at my parents’ house, went out to lunch (in the Wed Dwess!), and then made it to the auditorium at the perfect time. For two hours, we soaked in the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time.

    A. loved it; adored it.

    She did, however, have some trouble with the fog machine during the dance of the snowflakes. She leaned over and whimpered, Mommy! The fire that make that smoke going to make me killed! It took a bit of convincing. She wasn’t sure at first that she believed in the existence of fog machines.

    What was your favorite part? I asked her.

    The angels. The snowflakes. The beginning street scene when the girls were playing and the boys were throwing snowballs.

    I dreamed about them last night, Mommy.

    What part?

    The little boy. And he was hiding. And it was funny.

    She sighed, and I knew she was remembering how beautiful it was, too.

    A. in her Wed Dwess,
    first worn by Aunt C. in 1984

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  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts December 16, 2009 at 2:10 am

    That, my friend, is the hair I am not allowed to touch. Just looking at it makes her wince with pain.

    I convinced her to let me try hot rollers just this once for just a minute (and only a minute). It just barely turned the ends under, but it was so fun since I rarely even get to brush it!

  • Reply Mystie December 15, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    What beautiful hair!

  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts December 13, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Yes: four! It was perfect, it really was. I hope to go again in two years when Q. is four. Of course, it’s really almost-five. But it was great.

    My son was jealous; he really wanted to see the sword fight between the Nutcracker and the Rat King!

  • Reply Kansas Mom December 13, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Oh, I look forward to taking my daughter to the ballet! She’s not quite there yet…maybe next year when she’s four we can go. (First Son is not at all interested.)

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