Thursday, December 1, 2011

City Mouse

AS a parent.  You worry.  You worry about a lot of things.  One of the things I worry a little about is the fact that my daughter's childhood looks VERY different from my own and the one most people imagine...the picket fence, the swing set...suburbia.  We're raising our daughter in the city.  Next to a 7/11.  On top of a bank.  In a two bedroom apartment. And so far, I have to say, it's been GREAT. Not only does she get to do the same stuff suburban kids do: she plays soccer, and tennis, skis, ice skates and takes swimming lessons, she also gets to have unique experiences like attending a Bi-lingual school where she is immersed in Spanish.  Or hanging at one of the world's best art museums.  Or checking out books from the country's first free library. Or walking through the underground garage to visit her friends in the next building over.  She's having a very unique experience and one of the most unique is participating in Gateway Ballet.

Gateway Ballet is a little kids dance troupe run by Balanchine-trained, ex-Super Model, (not ex model, ex SUPER model [google it!...]) Ashley Richardson.  This you do not find in the suburbs.   I chose Gateway Ballet because it was cheaper than the eminent Boston Ballet, which is another great resource the city provides, but not as unique as Miss Ashley. And not even half as fun! 

Every year Miss Ashley puts on the BEST twelve-minute all-child production of the Nutcracker that anyone has ever seen!  SHe makes the costumes herself, without charging for them.  And gets all these talented artist parents to make scenery.  And invites the entire neighborhood to three FREE performances.  ANd she lets you video tape them.  And lets you dance in them too, if you want to.This too, you do not find in the suburbs.

I had my doubts about Miss Ashley's ballet in the beginning. When my daughter was four, she was a soldier and she had to be killed on stage by the king rat, played by one of the fathers.  And she had to ask me, "What's death, mommy?"  ANd so I had to explain it to her.  And so she had nightmares.  And so I had my doubts.  And it didn't seem like she was learning a ton of 'ballet'.  But look how cute (that's her on the right with her friend, Tess of the building connected to the garage):
But we kept at it... Because Miss Ashley really loves these kids.  And because she routinely gets big kids and little kids and 20 boys (! another thing you'd never see in the suburbs) and 20 girls working together to create this thing they are REALLY proud of.

And this year Cadence is learning a LOT of ballet!!  She is chene'ing and pique' turning and grand jete'ing in a big white tutu all over that stage and she even has a solo and she's opening tonight!  Here are the Snowflakes in rehearsal:

And we are so excited.   And I'm feeling "show-mom" jitters.  Which is stupid, because it's just Miss Ashley's Shortest Nutcracker in the history of man.  But it's important to these kids and it's our way of ushering in the Holiday Spirit.  Bring on the Holidays people!!!  Sending out Magical Goosebump Holiday Feelings to you all and will post some photos of the actual show tomorrow! xoxo Wendy

And Oh Yeah!  P.S..  The Probability of Miracles hit Amazon's Best Books of the Month List for December!!!   So tell all your friends :)