"Can we go back tomorrow Mommy?"

To which I replied, "well, no, but we can go next year and the year after and every year until you are 100." The Nutcracker was a sweet (har har) success! There was a tiny worry the night before about the Mouse King, but we assured her that he was pretend. She shared this with Granda when he asked her about him, "He's pretend" she told him matter of factly, not showing her fear.

She adored the unique to Boston dancing Bear in the party scene the most. She clapped her hands when everyone else clapped. She looked at me during the snow scene, "those are snowflakes." She pointed and spoke a bit to loud during the party scene, "there's Clara!"

For a girl who grew up dancing all those roles herself in our regional company's production, including Clara I might add (had to), there was something extra magical about taking my daughter to see this show. I glanced at her during the Second Act nestled between Nana and Kiki and I couldn't help the smile that appeared nor the glassy eyes that accompanied it. My little girl, watching the show that made me love dancing. My mother who spent hours of her life she will never get back waiting for me outside the rehearsal studio.

She spent her morning ride to daycare the next morning pouring over the program - "this is the Mouse King" "this is Clara!" and she couldn't wait to show Miss Melissa her t-shirt from Kiki with the Sugar Plum Fairy in a perfect arabesque.

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It was a beautiful production and for a girl whose been in more performances than she has actually watched as an audience member it was hard not to imagine the costumes, the make up, the jitters, the post performance flowers, the joy that was being a child in The Nutcracker. I'd happily sit outside a rehearsal studio for hours for her to have that same gift.

At the end of the show during the Finale Kiki leaned in to say, "maybe the Mouse King will come back," the reply came quickly with a fierceness to it that is so perfectly Caroline, "No he is NOT!"

I doubt we have a future Mouse King, but perhaps a little polichinelle, or an angel, or even a little Clara. Special thanks to the ladies who were able to spend the afternoon with us enjoying a spectacular show with a special little lady. Let's do it again next year, and the year after and until we are 100.


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