Last night, I took Paprika (8) and Ginger (5) to see the Los Angeles Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker! It’s a yearly tradition – we started going to see The Nutcracker every year at Christmas when Paprika was just 3 years old and we’ve gone every year since. 🙂
This year, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it, with the show being so close to my due date! I decided months ago (when I bought the tickets) that I would just take Ginger and Paprika this year, since Violet (3) would probably be a bit too active for the show. Paprika at age 3 was very different from Violet! At age 3, Paprika would watch the whole show attentively, not moving a muscle, and at the end would grab my arm and say: Can they do it again?!
Violet, on the other hand, would be fine for the first 20 minutes, and then would try to take over the stage. Ha!
We got there early to find close parking for me – and the girls had a great time reading the program. I brought booster seats (like I always do – I learned that trick a few years ago!) It really helps them see, and even with the boosters, they are still shorter than an average adult!
My other thing I do, which sounds crazy, is that I always make sure our seats are in the very front row, center for the show. That way there is no one in front of us, blocking the view! I learned that trick a few years ago when we sat second row and Paprika could not see a thing because a lady with a beehive hairdo sat in front of her!
This year, we ended up sitting next to an older lady who had homeschooled her two sons all the way from kindergarten up through college. Both her sons went to Stanford for college, and one now has a PhD in Physics and the other a PhD in Computer Science. She said she never taught them science or used a computer – she just read them lots of books and did math with them – so we had a good laugh about that. 🙂
Paprika was getting very antsy for the show to start, and as soon as it did – she was very serious about everyone being quiet!
Paprika remembers every single dancer from year to year – and commented on who is playing different roles this year, and who is new! They had a new Drosselmeyer this year, for example. Many of the children are still the same in the show – but a few had aged out, which she also noted. She can go back four years, remembering who played who!
Ginger’s emotions were up and down during the show. This year was her second year going – last year at age 4, she had a lot of anxiety and was VERY shy – so that was hard. I took her last year, but she was hard to manage because every time anyone looked at her, she started crying. This year, she is much more confident and I thought she’d do better.
Ginger LOVED the dancing and was completely engrossed in it – but whenever people would clap, she would get really upset – like they were interrupting her enjoyment of the show. She got really emotional during the more moving parts of the ballet and started crying (like the dance of the sugarplum fairies). Ginger feels things very deeply, that’s for sure!
This was Ginger’s favorite part of the ballet:
When it was all over, I asked them each what their favorite parts were. Paprika had the whole show memorized and told me that she just couldn’t choose because it was all so beautiful and perfect!
When I asked Ginger what the best part of the Nutcracker was, she said: Getting in the van and coming home!
But, since we’ve been home, Ginger has been playing the Nutcracker soundtrack non-stop and dancing her own version of the ballet around the house (with Violet as her side-kick, of course!) I’m pretty sure she had a good time! I think crowds are hard for her – but she really got a lot of out of the actual show. That’s my take on it, anyway!
While we were at the show, Mr. M and Violet had a little daddy/daughter date. He took her to her favorite restaurant: Carl’s Jr. – or Carlie’s Junior, as she likes to call it!
And then they went to Barnes and Noble to read books, etc. Violet had a great time!
After the show, Paprika wanted to meet the cast and get photos! This is Paprika with Clara and Fritz. They had a new Clara this year, and she was so good!
So, that’s our tradition! I was wiped out after all the excitement – I can’t believe I made it to the show in my current condition – I may be recovering for a few days. But it was worth it! 🙂