Nearly seven years later (we celebrate our oldest child’s seventh birthday this Wednesday), I continue to be surprised at how differently the world looks to me through mother eyes. Remember the first time you experienced Christmas (or insert equally important holiday) with a child, rather than being a child? It totally changed the holiday for you, right?
Being a complete Christmas fanatic, perhaps it’s no surprise then that I keep having Christmas with Children experiences all over the place. (Right now, I’m leaving out the derogatory ones…Grocery Shopping with Children, Clothes Shopping with Children, Dining with Children…)
This past weekend, as a special San Francisco surprise to our eldest in anticipation of her special day, the five of us headed into the city to watch the San Francisco Ballet Company perform the famed Swan Lake. While I’d like to claim all five of us made it through the whole thing, that would be a lie. Andrew spent all but the first fifteen minutes of the ballet outside the War Memorial Opera House auditorium, climbing stairs, running laps and otherwise burning off energy with our antsy three-year-old son. (I know, I know: what were we thinking, bringing a three-year-old to the ballet? Well, we tried, right?)
This, however, was not the Star Struck, Watching Professional Ballet with Children moment I aim to impart.
For the first time in a long time, I found myself totally transported, utterly transfixed and covered in goose bumps on multiple occasions.
As a mom, I am so focused on the day-to-day process of maintaining a household, rearing kids, and eeking out some semblance of professional pursuits, that it seems moments of utter transportation to another realm, as promised in reading books, watching movies, ballets, plays and the like, are rare for me. In short, the Mommy Brain is always hard at work, even in times of relaxation.
So in those brief moments when, flanked on either side by my seven- and five-year-old kids, I was utterly consumed by the music and poetic performance of dancers on stage, the swelling orchestral accompaniment, the tragic romance of the storyline and the magnificent movement of the dancers’ bodies. And, as conscious brain once again took over I realized: I haven’t felt like that in years.
And now, for a taste of the magic: