I think that I may have seen The Nutcracker as a kid. Then, I did not see it again for many years. One year, I was living in Lubbock during the holidays while my Marine was off training, and my dad asked me if I wanted to go with him. We got dressed up, and I was his “date”. We enjoyed the show, and it is a cherished memory.
Last December, I was able to plan my holiday travels from Okinawa back to Lubbock where I would arrive to Texas the day before the last showing of The Nutcracker performed by The Lubbock Ballet. I somehow coordinated world-travels and ballet tickets. I took my mom, sister, sister-in-law, and my two nieces. We all got dressed up, and it would become another cherished memory.
The Nutcracker with my favorite ladies. December 2019
This year is obviously very different. Dad is gone. I will not be traveling to Texas, and I will not be sharing The Nutcracker Ballet experience with anyone. Instead, this past weekend, I got myself dressed up, and I drove an hour down to the base theater. I sat in the far back corner. I wore my mask, and I enjoyed the performance.
I got myself all dressed up – even took off my flip-flops to go see the show.
Every other row was closed off with tape. You had to leave 3 or more seats between sets of families, so the theater felt empty. Everyone was required to wear a mask, including the dancers, and guess what: the show was still incredible! The music was still good. The grace and strength of the dancers was still apparent. The costumes were still pretty. It didn’t look or feel like The Nutcracker experiences of my past, but it was still special.
Some pictures from the Camp Foster show. December 2020. They are not great quality pictures because I was in the far back corner.
There are so many things that we can’t do right now, but there are still things that we CAN do. We CAN appreciate art. We CAN support our friends’ kids as they perform. We CAN still get dressed up. I know that not all communities and people are in a position to see the ballet in person, but you can still get dressed up, and you can still watch it live-stream. I guarantee that the music will still be beautiful. The dancers will still be strong and graceful. The costumes will still be magnificent.
This year, things are undoubtedly challenging. It really is up to us to find and create silver-linings. Would I have rather gone to see the show with my favorite ladies? YES! Am I glad that I got dressed up and went to see it alone? YES! Next year, if they are doing it again, you better believe that I will be gathering a group of friends together, and we will get dressed up, and we will go see another fabulous performance of The Nutcracker. It will be beautiful, and I will create another cherished memory.