The Dance of Two Sugarplum Fairies

Yesterday, against advice to the contrary, my parents and I took the girls–even Sage–to their first ballet, a suburban production of the Nutcracker.

They loved it. Oh God how they loved it.

The curtain rose, and Thalia gasped, clutching hands to mouth as the dancers took the stage. Are they real people? she whispered, hardly believing that such a thing was possible. Even Sage, our little soccer hooligan, applauded wildly and squealed YAYYYYYYY! in the quiet theater between every scene.

I sat there and sniffled in the dark, unable to control the emotions it triggered and how it brought back all the dreams of my own ballet-adoring youth. I remember truly believing that one day, if I wanted enough I might, meet the Sugarplum Fairy.

I might also be able to ride in a magic sleigh. That flew! (Also, all the Monopoly money was real and I could eat our dishes just like in the Candyman song.)

The performance didn’t end with the second act. Later that night after lighting the first Hanukkah candle, Thalia wriggled into her very first pink leotard and tutu and tights and ballet slippers, all in the perfect shade of petal pink. Grandma and Papa and I cranked up the Nutcracker CD and watched her spin and twirl and leap and fall and rebound and spin some more, right through the very last track.

I couldn’t find my camera. I was crushed.

When I did find my camera I realized the light was terrible.

It didn’t matter.

It didn’t matter.

Because I was there.

Something I think I forget sometimes. Maybe we all forget it? The blogger’s lament.

I danced around the living room with my daughters and crying again and laughing and twirling them around while they giggled with insane joy. We danced until I couldn’t anymore. Thalia would have gone through the whole soundtrack a second time if we had let her.

It was one of those moments you envision when you give birth to a little girl, only you can’t quite be sure how it will play out. The faces are blurry. The details are unclear.

Last night it all came together.

I love that I have girls. And I don’t care how you’re not supposed to say that.


31 thoughts on “The Dance of Two Sugarplum Fairies”

  1. That’s so sweet! I think I can relate to how you felt. I went to Boston Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” on Friday night and was totally wishing for a daughter at some point so that I can take her to the ballet and dress her up in ballet costumes and do all those fun girl things. I love my boy and wouldn’t change him for anything, but it made me really wish for a girl at some point in my life!

  2. What a sweet post. Holiday magic for sure.I never wanted girls, I could never picture myself as a mom of a girl. But when I ended up with twin girls I was thrilled. I instantly fell in love with them and all things girly.Although I also love my little boy. I feel so sorry for his future wife. I really do.

  3. My two oldest are in ballet together and I felt so dorky for getting so excited to pay for their recital costumes. (Next year, their age difference will put them in separate classes). I know I’ll be a blubbering idiot when they are onstage. . .

  4. Gorgeous—-this post and Thalia as Ballet dancer.Last year, I took the girls and my mom to see an evening production of Cinderella with a RI ballet company. When the curtain went up, I panicked when I realized this wasn’t “Cinderella”, as they knew it, but a modern, all white/black/silver and no-props, Cinderella. I shouldn’t have worried. They sat with their eyes glued to the stage through 3 acts until almost 10pm. It’s wonderful when they really appreciate things of beauty.

  5. Oh I am right there with you, pink tulled tutu and all. (Not on me, that would be tragic. On my 2.5 year old daughter.)Magic. THEY are magic and sometimes I cannot believe my own daughter is real.

  6. I wanted to dance when I was a child and never got to. Now my 3 year old daughter has just started ballet and I am over the moon with joy. The little leotard and tights put a catch in my throat.

  7. This is one of my favs of the holiday season, The Nutcracker, something I cannot wait to share with my daughter. It is beautiful the way you have such true, honest emotion about the experience with and your feelings about your daughters. Those girls will never forget that night either!!!!!!

  8. Aw. I used to usher at a performing arts center and I always loved seeing the little ones come in, all dolled up in velvet and lace and plaid for the Nutcracker matinee.Sweet post.

  9. Me too. Thrilled to have girls. Thrilled that they each have a sister.Props to you for such a successful outing, one that I haven’t been brave enough to try.

  10. My favorite chilldhood book was “A Very Young Dancer,” so yeah, I totally get this post.I can’t wait to share that experience with my daughter.

  11. Sniff… the whole image made me tear up. I will try not to be consumed with jealousy when my 3.5 year old son is kicking a soccer ball in my face and screaming, “WRESTLE!” for the millionth time tomorrow. I’m so glad you appreciate them and share their girliness with us!

  12. Beautiful!Some of our boys love to dance too – even when they claim that it’s a “Jedi” dance.

  13. I love having girls, too! I love pink and ribbons and ruffles. Everything about it… We’re not supposed to say that?

  14. Awww! I went with Ellie on her field trip to see the Nutcracker last week. It was wonderful to see her eyes glow with excitement. And let me say, it will only get better as the girls get a little older. Ellie (6) would lean over every so often to explain what was happening on stage for me. It was so sweet to hear her how proud she was of knowing the whole story.Here’s to many more years of Magical Winter Memories!

  15. I agree with whoever commented about “A Very Young Dancer”, THE best book for a ballet obsessed youngin’. I can’t wait until I’m brave enough to take my daughter (2.5) to see the Nutcracker.

  16. When I gave birth to my third boy, I told my husband I was still taking them to the Nutcracker someday… and they will like it!

  17. I completely agree. I love my two sons, but this past summer when my daughter got her first tutu skirt and spent an hour outside twirling? I couldn’t get enough. When she brings me pretend cups of tea and says she has a secret to tell me so she can whisper nonsense in my ear? Those are things the boys never did, and it makes me so grateful that we had a girl!

  18. So cute!And I love having girls, too. They can dance while wearing a tutu one minute, and then race their trains the next minute.

  19. That is so sweet it makes me tear up. 🙂 I cannot wait until my little girl is a little bit older to fall in love with things like this. Oh, I cannot wait!!! 🙂Thank you.

  20. I love this post… it brings back memories of when I wanted nothing more than to be a sugar plum fairy. 🙂 It’s okay about the camera, moments like that are ones you will never ever forget. 🙂Thank you for sharing.

  21. So was this at a place that rhymes with Schmite Smains? See! The suburbs rock! Especially when you look at the ticket stub–Lincoln Center–bah.I tried to get you know who to go by telling him there was a battle scene. No sale. Merry Christmaskah! xo B.

  22. I love having a girl, LOVE IT. And I can’t wait until Gigi goes to her first ballet – I hope we have as much fun as you did.

  23. woman! don’t make me cry like that! i love ballet. and i love my little girl. and i love to dance with her.a totally sweet post. thank you for writing it.

  24. I love my girls too. I always dreamed of having two girls. I feel so lucky!Love how yours loved the Nutcracker, that is awesome!

  25. We have been living in a Nutcracker-obsessed wonderland since before Christmas. My daughter can’t wait to be able to take ballet lessons, she listens to the CD to fall asleep at night, and she is now the proud owner of three tutus. being 2.5, she wears them all at once.And, yes, this is a total nostalgia-fest for me. I was that girl, too. Only without so many tutus.

  26. That is perfect. It brought a tear to my eye as well. Those are the moments we need to remember when our girls are ripping eachother’s hair out. Thank you.

  27. Oh WOW, this is a great post & you have the most gorgeous site here. It's all perfect !

    Thank you and best wishes….

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