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I know I should wait until after tonight’s performance to write this, but we are going to get back so, so late. HP, the girls, and I are taking a group of students to see The Nutcracker in Spokane. It wasn’t supposed to be all four of us, and I know the Ds grandma will be disappointed that she isn’t taking them to their first ballet, but she IS taking them to another production of the same show next week, and I know the Ds will be just as excited then as they are today. I do feel bad, because that was my mom’s birthday present to Mae, Nutcracker tickets, but I do know that next week Mae will be just as thrilled to be going with her Grandma. Because Grandma rules our universe. There is no one in Mae’s world comparable to Grandma Jackie.

We’ve just returned from a Christmas Faire at the hippy school. It might as well have been called the Hippy Pageant, or the Parade of Hipsters. Whatever. I do love their hippy school, even if every other parent there looks slightly more fit, well rested, and wholesome than us. It was lovely, and there were lots of fun booths and crafts and all that hippy stuff.

I’m excited to see the show. Love me some ballet. Here’s a poem that is nearly certain to be nostalgic and sweet. Oh, it will be better to write after. I will do a Before and After poem. I already wrote the before part. So the last part will be sleepy and silly, but true.


Through some foldedness in time, some chancy tesseract, I am of two ages at the performance. One age of innocence, the other of longing, in one world in time I am Slightly Less Than Hip But Still Pretty Bendy Mom, instructor in of satin ribbon and taffeta.  “It is called the proscenium–proh see nee um”, I will say, all magic in my knowledge. In the other time I am five again, giddy in my grown-up dress, thrilled beyond giggles by the ceremony and tall crowds of festooned adults, whose skirts my face meets as I hold my own mother’s hand and wind up the stairs to the balcony seats. There’s high color in my cheeks when the house lights come down, feet-swinging, small feet that were once mine and are still, impatient at the overture. The orchestra is captivating, with it’s timpanies and horns, and as it plays on and on to the curtain, I wonder why no one has peeked through, like certainly I would do if I were back there, warming up like my mom says the dancers do, and I picture them in parkas of fur and lace. In some discomfiting grown-up time, the principles are fine, but just, the corps de ballet is sloppy, the choreography dismal, and the costumes clownish, but in some deep forgotten childspace, there is muscle memory, a great pulsing of joy and rhytmn, and the fake snow is real, and the sets are scenes I inhabit, the movements unreal and impossibly light, and a sugar plum is as real as a dancing snowflake, realer, even than anything I could have conjured on my own. A sugar plum sounds a tasty thing, though I’ve never seen one until now, and probably will not, not ever again.


The Before and After thing was a bad idea. I should’ve just gone with Before Before. It was 12:30am before we got home! The Ds were great but exhausted, Mae was exuberant and now must become a ballerina, and the teens were super easy. Except for the singing. Why must they always sing? In the van particularly? In a fifteen passenger van without speakers in the back, it leaves them to fend for themselves, tune-wise. Which they do at the top of their lungs. For a long, long time. Why? Because they are all both five and fifteen all at once? One time on our trip to Ashland, I had to put them all on singing bans. I nearly did so again tonight. Goodnight, poemies. May sugar plum faeries dance in your heads.