Warning: This blog contains overt boastful parental statements concerning said blogger's beautiful, talented and holy children. Said blogger is aware that this may be the second blog in as many weeks to contain such abject praise and devotion but nevertheless, makes no apologies for this fact. After all, there's a reason the tag line says, same schmidt, different blog and there's a reason this blog is titled Schmidt Happens. 'Tis the season for fawning folly. Having said all that, if you should find maternal bragging to be in the least bit offensive, repulsive or disturbing, then do heed the following rating: BB (boring blog)....Reader discretion is advised.
We made it through another Nutcracker extravaganza season.
Holy Son was, once again, performing the roles of the Nephew, Nutcracker and Nutcracker prince in a local production of The Nutcracker with his sister's dance company this past weekend.
His sister danced in Act II as an angel and she was, to steal a quote from her: "heavenly." This was the first year she was able to audition and land a part, but hopefully not her last. She was terrific and when she moved across the stage with her big hoop skirt, it looked like she was floating on air.
Last year, there were two full December weekends dedicated to The Nutcracker - one for tech and dress rehearsals and the following weekend for four performances. A venue screw-up this year necessitated that everything be packed into one weekend, so the kids were up to their eyeballs this weekend with rehearsals Friday night and Saturday and two performances Sunday afternoon.
It was exhausting but rewarding. Exhausting because doing hair and make-up on a boy who hates me so much as touching a stray strand of hair. And don't even get me started on how he felt about having eyeshadow, foundation, transluscent powder, blush and clear lip gloss. It weren't perrty, Berty. Multiple that equation by the number of times Holy Daughter screamed, yowled and cried while we attempted to get her chin length bob into a bun at the very top of her head - thank God for gel and plenty of pins - suffice to say, it wasn't simple math. More like a combination of weird science and classic literature.
Good Ole Charlie sums up Nutcracker weekends best I think..."It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way." But as in this last Christmas past, all the performances were near flawless, the music was seasonally inspiring and the performers enjoyed theatrical fun and fame. And of course it was rewarding to see how both kids continue to get recital and theatre stage experience, such that butterflies and jitters are pre-emptors to that wonderful feeling of achievement rather than dread. They both love to perform and are the very picture of grace under fire backstage. Me? I'm a nervous wreck.
Oh, and did I mention that our Prince was a regal sight to behold? (Re-enter boastful mother, stage left). This year, he looked more comfortable on stage and he even managed to smile and look quite animated for most of the show. Holy Hubby and I looked at each other in amazement, trying to figure out whose gene pool this theatrical flair came from - we decided it was the stork.
I was momentarily relieved to see that he had all but dispensed with last year's nervous tic of licking his lips at 10 second intervals ~ only to discover that he had, in fact, replaced it with an annoying if unconscious habit of grasping his long shirt sleeve cuffs and flexing his hands at odd and/or awkward moments.
Despite these minor moments, he provided great props to all the ballerinas, who were really the dancing stars. Holy Son had very simple choreography - no real dancing to speak of (which is good because he is not a dancer). He was there to look good, as the only male, apart from the small karate mice and the adult men at the party scene during Act I.
And he even managed to amass a bit of a following. One of the tiny Ginger cookie dancers took quite a shine to him - sending him little love notes all weekend to let him know what a great actor and dancer he was. She sent him so many notes that he relented at the end, with his mother's prodding, and presented her with a flower after the final curtain call. It was very sweet, and doubly so because he did this in front of his girlfriend, who made a special trip to come watch his performance.
He received lots of praise from friends, family and strangers and was even asked to pose for pictures with young children who were smitten to be able to see a real live Nutcracker Prince in person.
The weekend was topped off with a visit from my brother and SIL from Victoria, Canada, who stayed for a good time, not a long time. (Y'all come back now, ya hear?) I lived with them when Holy Son was born 11 years ago and Holy Hub was starting his Pakistan contract, so it was a bit of a shock for my sister-in-law to stand nose to nose with her nephew and realize that in a matter of weeks, he'll be taller than her.
So that was our backstage pass weekend. Short, busy and Nutcracker sweet.