I have always loved to dance. I am by no means a good dancer nor do I have great rhythm, or graceful movements, but boy do I love to move! It is rarely pretty, but in my head I am connected and I fill up my cup o' soul while I'm doing it. It's not unusual to stop by my house and hear music blaring and find me and the kids in a full swing dance party in our pajama's on any given evening.
My mom took me to see my first Nutcracker at a small auditorium in Bristol, TN when I was seven. It was so beautiful and I remember just being swept away in that little girl way that was filled with magic, swirling, goodness of a new discovery. I've always enjoyed the stage and basically any form of artistry and performance, both from the audience and actually being part of it. I've seen hundreds of shows all over the world and always take away some gratefulness from the talents we are all blessed with on this Earth.
Friday night I saw the best version of the Nutcracker that I have ever seen. My mom, my daughter, and I were invited to the Fox Theater in Atlanta to see the Atlanta Ballet and Atlanta Symphony perform. We had the chance to see the dancers and costumes at a pre-show reception and we got to sit on the sixth row where it actually snowed on us during the performance. Cool right?!? Plus, I had on FABULOUS shoes!
When we got the call, I was so excited to receive the invitation. It only soured when I looked at the date and realized it was on one of the weekends that the kids go to their dad's. I have had a couple of other cool opportunities come up and he just won't let them go, no matter what. So, my heart fell immediately because I felt sure this would be a similar situation, and true to form, he would not allow her to go.
I didn't even tell her about it. I don't understand his reasoning, and truly feel if the shoe is ever on the other foot, I will absolutely let the kids do something with him. It is the right thing to do and I want the kids to be able to have great experiences with both of us. No matter what arguments we may have, the fact remains...we were brought together and beautiful kids were a result. I would never change anything about the journey because I've learned so much, and when these opportunities come up, I will ask, always.
Now, being a mere human, my first thought was about some nuts I'd like to crack. Forgiving is constant and hard work, people and every now and then you have to pull an all-nighter!
So, inspite of not getting to take the little girl, my mom and I went to the show. I realize now, that it was meant to be that way. I love my mom so much, and with our busy schedules and a lot of the focus being on what activities the kids are doing, we really don't have the time to spend and have that mother and daughter time that I loved too. It is what has helped make me a good mother.
Tears fall as I type this, because I know that I won't always have these chances, and I am, in a way, grateful to my ex for his actions, so my mom and I could share this time again. As soon as the show started, I was totally transported, just like the very first time I saw it. But this time, I was filled with love and the knowledge that we are all here to know love and give it back. That is our highest purpose. This is why we are alive and what makes our lives the best they can ever be!
We had a ball. We got to talk about all the things that we never have time for and we got to dress up and be pretty together. We stayed at the lovely home of my mom's best friend and his partner and their sweet animals. We laughed so hard our stomachs hurt. We ate, drank, and were merry! It truly was a gift.
I am always so moved during this time of year with the reflections of the past, the blessings of the present, and the hopes of the future. As you are moving through your holidays, may smiles stretch across your faces, and may sugarplums fill your heads regardless of your circumstances. If the Grinch's heart can grow, so can all of ours. FA WHO DOOR RAY!
And... here is the link to the FOX! It is an amazing venue, go see a show there. You won't regret it.