(Pre-post note: for those of you who aren’t Dr. Who fans, a TARDIS is essentially both a space ship and a time-travel machine. Secondary pre-post note: Wait…how can you not be a Dr. Who fan?!? You need to get on that…stat! 😉 )
When my oldest daughters were six years old (yes, I have twins), I bought tickets to take them to the Nutcracker ballet here in Ottawa. Arts and culture had been pretty much absent from my own childhood, partly because of where we lived, and partly because we simply couldn’t afford it…and I was so excited to be able to introduce my own children to things I’d only dreamed of when I was their age. I wanted to see the magic of the stage through their eyes, to experience their wonder and excitement…
And then my youngest daughter came down with the flu on the day of the performance, and my husband ended up going in my place. The girls dressed up in their finest party dresses and headed out into the snow and cold of the December 19th evening…yes, I still remember the date…and returned home a few hours later with the stars still in their eyes. For them, the ballet had been everything I’d hoped for, and as I listened to their animated recap, it really wasn’t hard to put aside my own disappointment at not being able to go with them. Well…not too hard.
We gave the girls their very own nutcrackers for Christmas that year, and they slept with them, just as Clara did in the ballet.
That was eighteen years ago.
Fast forward to last night, when one of my daughters surprised me with tickets to the Nutcracker Ballet’s opening night…because she remembered that I’d had to miss it all those years ago. And while I may not have attended her first ballet with her, this one turned out to be just as special.
As I sat beside this lovely young woman in the theatre, I found myself watching her almost as much as I did the stage…because the real magic was there, in her delight and her excitement. And for a brief moment, we were transported back in time and she was once again that little girl, and I was privileged enough to witness the magic of the Nutcracker through her eyes.
And that is how the ballet became my TARDIS. 🙂