seeing the nutcracker ballet is a holiday tradition so many have and i can see why – what a beautiful way to celebrate the season.
this year, one of my oldest and dearest friends and i took our big kids – leaving baby sisters behind! – to the theatre to kick-off an annual tradition for ourselves.
we met for a sweet treat at the patisserie across the street before the show. bonz chose a croissant and his buddy chose a hot cocoa and, feeling quite civilized, we sat at a table for four and marveled at how nice it was that it was just the mamas and the big kids – no babies. it was a treat for us all.
i wasn't quite sure how bonz would do at the show. i mean, it's a two-plus hour ballet so i was fully prepared to take it as it came. i thought making it to intermission would be great, really.
the show was at the beautiful arlington theatre in santa barbara. i saw my first nutcracker there, too. and i've been to so many concerts and movies there over the years – it's such a rad venue, classic santa barbara. the interior is set to look like a village complete with lit-from-within windows of little houses. (you can get a visual here – bummed i missed that show!)
our seats were in the third row on the far right aisle. third row! and no one in front of us in the first two rows which made it feel like we were in the first row. and we had a direct view into the side of the orchestra pit – by the percussionist no less – which bonz was so intrigued by.
when the curtain went up and the orchestra started, both kids' eyes got wide with excitement and wonder. i seriously could have sobbed. it was so sweet watching their reactions – getting to witness their first brush with such a thing, the amazement in their eyes.
at one point, bonzo's sweet friend leaned over and whispered to him, "they tell the story by dancing!"
bonz blew through the first act – complete with the cannon firing and the scary rats – like a boss. during the second act, after every applause bonz would whisper, "is it over?". finally i asked him if he was wanting it to be – to which he replied, "nope."
i was so proud of him. when there's newness, he's anxious. but he faced it and enjoyed himself thoroughly. it felt like quite the accomplishment – and the start of another wonderful holiday tradition.