Thoughtful Thursday Week 49 – The Sugar Plum Fairy Is Flexible

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Today we attended The Nutcracker Ballet in Knoxville, at the Civic Auditorium. It’s quickly becoming an annual tradition for us. This is our third year in a row. The children enjoy it very much. I love it. Ballet, like any art, is therapeutic. It healed some of the brokenness I was feeling after the terror attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, and the loss of our friends’ daughter last week.

Nutcracker ballerinas

The Appalachian Ballet Company has been performing The Nutcracker for 44 years.

On a funny note, my son told my husband, “Daddy, I don’t want to dance.” Poor guy. Mommy took him to several concerts by the Knoxville Youth Symphony Orchestra several years ago and, next thing he knew, he got a violin for his fifth birthday and started violin lessons. Now that he sees mommy keeps taking him to this ballet, he wonders if the next extra-curricular activity is dance.  Continue reading »

Daddy smiled and said, “That’s where I would put my foot down, son. No dance lessons for you, even if mommy wanted you to start.” I smiled, especially because I never thought I should put my son in ballet or dance. I told my son to relax, that I would never ask him to take dance lessons. It had never crossed my mind.

Scene from The Nutcracker

Another scene from The Nutcracker Ballet

My daughter, on the other hand, made the best comment of 2015: “The Sugar Plum Fairy is flexible. Very flexible.” I laughed my heart out when I heard her. It was during the Grand Pas De Deux and, of course, the Nutcracker was twisting and turning the Sugar Plum Fairy in all directions.

I must say, after what happened recently in San Bernardino and Paris, I thought we might be a soft target – an auditorium full of school children, watching a Christmas ballet. But we have to continue to live our lives. Otherwise, they win.

Daddy came with us this year, for a change. I had to drag him a little bit on this one, but it worked out. I felt more secure with him there. After the ballet, we had lunch at Cracker Barrel and made a day of it. We got home around 3:30pm, just as the school buses were taking public school children home.

What remains after a day at the ballet is the desire for elegance and smooth transitions. The ballerinas are elegant and smooth, that’s for sure.

Oh, and one more thing. We were surrounded by school children. When one of them was out of control and the chaperone was not saying anything to her, I leaned over and I said, “Stop, please.” She was stunned and behaved well afterwards. The chaperone was stunned and did not say a word.

I was stunned that I had the courage to do this. Apparently, I have no problem disciplining somebody else’s child in public. Watch out!


Mom Monday Week 48 – If Only

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This week, I took the kids to see The Nutcracker. Is there anything more beautiful around the holidays? I think not. “Our” Nutcracker is performed by The Appalachian Ballet Company. They have been doing this show for 46 years now.

If only we could go through life as gracefully as ballerinas, perpetual smiles on our faces. Sigh. Big sigh. At this time of the year, I am struck by the idea of grace, graciousness, and gracefulness. Not just achieving goals, but the manner in which we achieve them. The beauty of Tchaikovsky’s music, the colorful costumes, the ethereal gliding of ballerinas remind me it’s not just about getting to the destination. It’s also about the journey. Mainly, it is the journey that counts more than anything.

Mom Monday Devotional for Homeschooling Moms

Both my kids loved it. My son told me at the end, “It was wonderful, mommy! I loved it.” My daughter made several positive comments throughout the show. Well, that’s a relief. It was their first time seeing a ballet and this gives me permission to take them back to see another one.  Continue reading »

To be technical… I took my daughter two years ago to see The Nutcracker, but she does not remember anything. Which brings up the question, why do we take two-year-olds to ballet shows? Maybe because mommy needs to see something pretty and fluffy? Yep, it was definitely for my sake that I went to see The Nutcracker two years ago. My son was sick and my daughter was only two. I really did not have to go. I could have even gotten my money back.

But we go because moms need to see art, to inspire us to keep pursuing our own artistic endeavors. Teaching, by the way, is an art. And, even though our homeschool resembles more Greco-Roman wrestling at times, and not so much a Grand Pas De Deux, the results will be beautiful. It’s a promise from the One Who called us all to homeschool our children.