wacky reflections from a nutcracker wannabe

Category: Nutcracker

Mamas and their prima dancing baby girls.

And so tonight my baby girl embraces ballet in new pink tights and ballet shoes. The next phase in her dance life.

At her side, nine other girls with much more dance experience and the same excitement to win the teacher’s eye stand in line- dressed out of a ballet scene and with energy only a teenager can have after a full day of work or school. They see only what they can be in the moment. They do not fret about tomorrow or yesterday. Just the moment.

Like a breath, they focus on the music and movement. One graceful moment a time.

My sweet girl stands shyly near the bar as girls in pointe shoes surround her. She is a natural. Her grace and form so eye catching…. and for me, heartwarming. Sure, all mothers see only a beautiful, natural dancer. Mine really is….

Parental love is so difficult to put into words. We love unconditionally. We see with eyes only a mother can see. What I see, she doesn’t see in herself. What my own mother sees in me, I too can’t see.

We are intensely attached even when frustrated. Yet, we are sometimes frustrated for exactly this profound and adoring love we all embrace as a gift. We hear one way. They hear another. What I say, and she hears do not always mirror one another, and unless we each verbalize the disconnect, the challenge continues its cyclical path.

Love is like that- two people, two different ways to listen, two different ways to learn.

Cheers to all of us putting on a new pair of ballet shoes and dancing in the moment. True love is unconditional and doesn’t need to stretch first.


Note: yes, I am sitting here a sort of dance mom, but as you would guess, I am in a suit. My girl wouldn’t have it any other way. She knows.

the nutcracker wannabe

So, like many little girls, I wanted to be a prima ballerina.  Come on, who else wouldn’t want torn up toes, knots in their feet, hair pulled and sprayed so far back your face hurts…. in exchange for those beautiful long pink tutu’s?  They look flawless under the spotlight, and beautiful men throw you in the air and never drop you (unlike your larger but angry younger brother does when he is mad at you for putting nerd candy in his bed and telling him they are mouse droppings).

Every year mom took us to see The Nutcracker at the Fox in STL.  I loved getting dressed up and waiting for the curtains and the beautiful music. It was an annual start to holiday heaven.

There was some curiosity about why the male leads worse such tight (tights) (and without the unitard they give to male wrestlers), but perhaps that is why the tickets cost so much, and the majority of the audience are women.

Regardless, I loved the ballet and wanted to name my daughter, Clara. My husband at the time was not in love with the name, but I kept in my heart for down the road.  (for the record, my daughter doesn’t like the name we chose in addition to Clara, so I was screwed unless she was baby X and could name herself once a tween).

It’s 11 years later, and my sweet daughter and I have decided it’s time for a new pup.  She picks the litter of tiny lhasapoos from this cool Posh Puppy rescue in downtown- everything is pink, and I’m thinking I need to be a good mom and let her name the pup, but how can I politely encourage “Clara”?

Well, needless to say the pup my girl chooses is a boy, and while I explained that neutering makes him gender neutral, she was not buying the sale for “Clara”.

We came home with ‘Kenny Rogers’.

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