Monday, December 8, 2008

Fine Arts

I began second guessing my decision to take my 11 and 8 year olds to "The Nutcracker" when one belched at supper and then hysterical laughter by all followed. One also managed to look much like a dog lapping up his food from a bowl, practically laying on the table. Forget not having elbows up there, how about entire torsos? There we sat, with friends, all dressed up, which we rarely do, and yet manners fled them. I had failed to have a lesson about concert etiquette before hand, and was realizing that maybe it wasn't such a good idea as I watched them have less than desired behavior at the dinner table. Not to mention they did not sit next to me, so I couldn't pinch them into properness. Though there may have been a kick or two under the table.

To be completely honest, I've never cared much about ballet. I understand the strength, dedication and hard work that goes into making something so incredibly hard look so beautiful and elegant. Really, I do. As a martial artist, I absolutely understand the strength it takes to hold a leg out so high for so long. And though every martial artist in the world would hate my guts and strongly disagree, I actually think it takes MORE strength to dance so gracefully than it takes to get through a form or break boards. But for whatever reason, though I completely respect and can even appreciate the art, there is not the same deep love for it that I have for the music alone. Oh, the music! It's too hard to put into words the love and adoration I have for such beauty. Even as they began warming up, I watched intently, listening to different instruments, each with it's own beautiful sound. Oh, how I missed playing, myself. I leaned over to Faith and whispered in her ear..., "I spent many an hour while you grew in my belly, playing in different bands, orchestras, and gigs like this." She asked why I stopped if I missed it so much. I understand the beauty of relinquishing something you love to focus on children and family. There just isn't time to devote to the kind of practice it takes to play on that level. But right at that moment, I had to wonder what life would be like had she not come so unexpected... my husband and I had dreams of touring, playing, and performing. And I couldn't bring myself to tell her she was the reason. At least, not like that. I was afraid she couldn't understand that though I miss it, and still dream of what might have been, she is worth every minute of anything I might have let go of.

And then, the lights dimmed and the ballet began. Faith watched intently for the first, oh, 2 minutes. She quickly faded. And though I expected her to enjoy it, her boredness (like that made up word?) was obvious. She wiggled in her seat, sighed often, and would have fallen asleep had I allowed her to lean over.

I thought my 8 year old, Hope, would fade like Faith did. I knew she would like it, but doubted her ability to really watch and enjoy the entire thing. But, oh, how wrong I was. That little one sat captured the EN. TIRE. ballet. She watched wide-eyed and softly whispered her amazement, "ooooo" she would say. Or , "oh, how beautiful". Or "Mom, did you see her?" "Mom, look at that!" "Mom, Did you see that?"

She had lots of favorite moments that she relived on the ride home. She laughed hysterically when Fritz received a spanking. She loved the life size dolls who could do amazing things with their bodies. She loved Mrs. Ginger and her children (one of which was a friend of hers who had auditioned for the part). And of course, the snowflakes were "the most beautiful thing." And lets not forget the arabian dancers, the chinese dancers, and the sugar plum fairy.

And now, she's BEGGING for ballet. And twirling ever-so-gracefully, or not, across the living room 50 times a day.


hsmomma5 said...

I don't think I will ever think of ballet again without thinking of Melissa saying that she went one year, fell asleep and decided that she could nap at home for free. She's such a funny girl!

a Tonggu Momma said...

As a former student of dance, can I just say "YEEEAAAAAAHHH!!!!" I always feel so excited when another little one feels the pull.

Anonymous said...

I bet the music is AWESOME.I would love to take my kids to see that too!

Jennifer said...

I'm glad at least one of them enjoyed it! I've never been much for watching ballet myself, but I did used to take it!

suzanne said...

so NOT surprised it was THAT child! mama - the drama, the dressing up, the performance?

LOVE this.. and a little teary about my own lost dreams... of animation and disney. but SO wouldn't trade it either.

well written as always, mama.

glitzen said...

oh I love that ballet. I do love the music more than the dancing though, so you are not alone! I truly get lost in it. And the snowflakes drifting down onto the stage...oh I adore that moment.