The weekend before Christmas, T and I headed down to San Diego to attend the California Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker!
This was a first for T, but hardly a first for my mom or me. See, this is the exact performance that I started attending when I was just T’s age (if not younger) and continued to go to year in and year out for at least 20 or so years. Yep, even when I came home on college winter break, my mom still would get us tickets for the show. Clara’s winter wonderland was very much a Christmas tradition of ours, and now it’s been introduced to T, if not engrained just yet!
It was awesome and quite entertaining to watch T take in his first viewing of The Nutcracker. He especially loved Act I and the party and “fight” scenes between the toy soldiers (and Nutcracker) and mice. Although there were some highlights for T during Act II (the Russian dancers namely), the second half post-intermission mostly dragged on for him. In fact, each time the flowers, dewdrops, or any fairy or queen made their appearance (and they make a LOT of appearances throughout Act II), he would exclaim, “NOT AGAIN!” and each time that exclamation was just a little louder than the last. OK message received, T: You’re not into dancing flowers, dewdrops, fairies, or any form of female royalty.
The surprise of our Nutcracker outing however was that we got to the theatre with time to spare. Yes, the fact we were early is very surprising if you know my mom or I at all. But more so was that we were admitted to the venue earlier than I believe we should have been allowed. The usher took us to our seats as rehearsals were still ongoing pre-show. I can’t say I’ve ever been in my seat for a live performance and gotten to see that before! Well, turns out it was most definitely a mistake (oops). Once the usher realized her error, she nicely came back in to escort us back to the mezzanine. It was somewhat difficult to tear T away from all the behind-the-scenes action as he really enjoyed seeing the dancers on a bare stage and watching prop people moving scenery back and forth into position. A stage manager in the making perhaps?!
In the end though, T exited stage right (or is it left? I’m not well-versed on stage speak), and happily so once he learned there was a gift shop area. As luck would have it, Grandma Beep was more than happy to get T a little souvenir… his very own Nutcracker soldier, complete with sword and all. I can’t say I ever got a Nutcracker souvenir growing up. Then again, she’s not my Grandma Beep, right?!
We might try The Nutcracker again next season if the dates work out and if T seems interested to give it a second try. After all, practice makes perfect, and T seems to enjoy rehearsals.
What new traditions did you introduce this holiday season with your littlest ones, RMT’ers? How’d it go?