Yiddisheh Momma Feels the Christmas Magic!

This is the emmes truth ( I swear, this is true… poo-poo). On the days leading into the Nutcracker performances, I did not know if my little family was going to make it. My Mrs., she had been schlepping (hauling @ss all over creation, the maideleh’s (our sweet girls) all over the place. Dress rehearsal here, performances there… Were the bags packed? Did they have their ballet shoes? What about the special red ones? Extra tights? Hair bag? Makeup? Snacks? Water? Oh, the waterworks… tears flowed like geysers. Moses, he would have had some rough time if he had to part our personal familial ocean… He was the guy who parted the red sea, right? The stress. Tension. Where on earth were my frailech kinder (light and joyful children)? I couldn’t wait for them to leave already.  We were all a mess. Insanity alone, it would have been a welcomed friend to this meshuggah (crazy) way of living.

From top left, Little getting ready before the show, soldiers, those damned bobby pins, dancer for the Chinese segment

When they finally left (I’m sorry, I love you all to the moon and back), I grabbed my boychik, Gatsby, cuddled him tightly in a fetal position on our sofa, and burst into tears. Tidal waves. Tsunamis. Remember Holly Hunter in, Broadcast News? That was me. Scheduled, routine, bawling and blubbering. A total, inescapable breakdown.

Some 15 odd minutes later, I dried my prolific puddle and looked around our fairly new home. WTF? We weren’t robbed. We weren’t tossed by the feds? We’ve been ‘Nutcracker-ed.’ A bare refrigerator and laundry taller than me which is not saying much, I suppose. Tchaikovsky had no idea when he created his masterful score that one day, my life would be farshtunkeneh (a crazed, chaotic mess).

Nu? In times of stress, this momma vacuums. It’s not wine, and certainly, it’s not chocolate. There is no glamour, but it is aerobic, efficient and usually very necessary. Just ask my Mrs. She has even found me vacuuming outdoors nope, not a shop vac to be found on multiple occasion(s). On, in, or around our sofa alone, I found, recovered, hoovered, at a minimum, 3,497 bobby pins. Yes, I counted. Really. Heading toward the loo, another 317. Stairs? Don’t ask. If these pins had value, I would be swimming in riches! Dancers need (hair) buns. Ergo, the bobby pin glut.

Many hours later, and after a necessary shower, I was ready to leave for the show. Our house, me, I had regained some small sense of order. The Mrs. reported that the kinder, they had a great dress rehearsal. Then all the ballerinas and their respective tightly wound caregivers went out for burrito bowls from Chipotle to nourish their dancin’ feet.

From left, Big as Nutcracker doll, party girl, getting ready for the Russian dance, $#@! bobby pins…

I did my mandatory voluntary ushing job and then made my way in the dark to our seats. My heart, beating to the Dum-da-da-dum-dum, dum-dum-dum of the music. Before long, my face would hurt from smiling. This may be my purest form of kvelling (boasting and gushing) Big, she comes out on stage first with two other dancing, party girls, friends. Her smile, lichticheh (lit-up, radiant) She is so frailecheh (happy) on stage, in costume and dancing. She is free as a bird. 

Little, she marches out in her group.  They are soldiers who fight the dreaded mice. I make a note to talk to the head of the dance school about the guns; Oh, and I verbalized it a bissel (little). I mean, right?

She looks out at the audience and makes a smirk like only she can. I laugh out loud and radiate happiness okay, so that was a hot flash. She puts up quite a fight with her dancing mouse partner. That’s a shana punim (beautiful face) with a simper no less.

Big, aside from a party girl, she is also the Nutcracker doll and a dancer in the Russian scene.

These sweet kinder, they have been practicing since September. They are dancing alongside professionals — The Donetsk Ballet, from Ukraine. Folg mikh a gayng! That’s no small task! Someone pinch me already!

It’s a week later, and I am still hearing Tchaikovsky music. I can still see every move my maideleh’s (sweet babies) made on the stage(s). I can be found smiling, beaming with full on myofascial pain — practically lockjaw.

Oh, this Yiddisheh momma is feeling the Christmas spirit like never before. Wishing all of you who celebrate, a very, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Nachas (joy from others accomplishments, like your dancing kinder) and mitzvahs for all and to all a good night!

Yiddish Proverb:

When you teach your daughter, you teach your daughter’s daughter. Ven ir lernen deyn tokhter, ir lernen deyn tokhter tokhter.

Zie gezunt! Be in good health.

 

Some great folks I like to share with….

The Yesterday Special

The simplicity of the set and the costumes were stunning!

The Dance Recital was yesterday. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Act I, and disciplines of modern, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and tap, artfully and passionately performed in Act II. There are *two days/nights a year that I smile so wide, from ear to ear, that my jaw actually hurts by nights’ end I can, and have, thrown out my neck and back from experiencing such profound naches (joy). It’s because I am kvelling (oozing with pride over) over my girls, their friends and all of the dancers who work so hard every day to practice, grow, glean their art and perform it on the stage.

Spring! I have captured Big air-bound, and toes pointed! *Yes, I am that mom that used her iPhone to capture this moment… Es khoolempt zakh meer (I’m dreaming)!

Big, she has a grace and elegance that clearly is woven in her own personal strand of DNA. If all goes well, she will be on pointe oy, the feet, they will hurt in the fall. She is in pursuit of her dream. From the moment she could walk, she was twirling on her tiptoes in tutus. Fear? Never. She holds a comfort on stage that suggests she was meant to be performing.

My Little and her fellow ‘grass-mates’ of summer, dance with Persephone. Little is the second one from the right… and if I used a flash in this stolen moment, you could see them better

Now Little, she is following in the ballet leaps of her shvester (sister). She is dancing with her besties in class and on stage. I am watching her skills develop. Together, the shvesters are constantly dancing and leaping about — At home, they choreograph their own shows and put them on for me and the Mrs. We get tickets and directions that phones and flash photography are not allowed! These kinder (children) make me so fraylekh (happy) it is so true, 99.999% of the time. What? I’m human. Little, still only 7, has fun on the stage, and perhaps the performance itself is not quite as important. That in itself carries its own brilliance, for fun and childhood lead to greater learning.

And here is Autumn. Big is the one closest to us, in the front.

My Mrs., she tirelessly schleps (drives, rushes, and hauls) these kinder to and from dance classes, rehearsals, performances. Hairpins, bun makers, costumes, leotards, tights, ballet shoes… oi vey iz mir (woe is me!)! It’s a lot. On any given day, you can find hundreds of at least 12 bobby pins on the floor in the laundry, the sink, the car, the steps leading to our front door in our house. This is the emmas (truth)!

Could these little ballerina’s be any cuter? My kinder were there, what feels like minutes ago… And in the blink of the eye, these girls will be the new leads.

Me? I delight in my Monday nights when I get to pick up Big on my way home from work. I always get there around 5:30, knowing full well the class will go until 6. Spending time in the dance studio, spying in through the window and watching the process unfold is good for my soul. I welcome the congenial camaraderie of the cabal of caregivers making these same rounds. The chatter, the signals we share that show how we are a community holds yet another layer of priceless-ness.

And today, the day after the big night, our house is a disaster mess. Only Gatsby has food and even that is minimal. Bobby pins are strewn everywhere. The laundry, she is one tall mess, and we all have a bit of a pounding, massive ballet hangover. Gevalt (help), we are exhausted!

Yiddish Proverb:

Gebroteneh teibelech flien nit in moil arein (If you want something, you have to work for it).

A great big, heartfelt Mazel Tov (kudos, congratulations, thank you) to all who work so hard at the Wissahickon Dance Academy! ❤  *The Nutcracker is the other day where I grin like the Cheshire Cat! Get ready, auditions will be in about ten minutes…

A bei gezunt (Good Health to you)!

 

A Midsummer Day and Night’s Performance

Big and her buds, preparing before the show.

This past weekend, my kinder (children) participated in our annual tradition, the Dance Recital. All year long, my shana maidelehs (sweet girls) have been studying ballet, and Big has added jazz to her repertoire. My Mrs., she too was central to the studies, as the chief shlepper (hauler, dragger) and nosherie (snack provider) to our mini prima’s.

If you can ever imagine me, at my very happiest space, it’s watching my kinder do what they love, and they do love to dance, in full regalia on stage. Kvelling (beaming with pride) and grinning until my punim (face) hurts, I am. It’s the tahkeh (absolute, certain) truth.

This year, the Wissahickon Dance Academy presented Shakespeare’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The choreography was so beautiful. The talent, remarkable. They really put on an awesome production. After, all of the other forms of dance performed. Jazz, hip-hop, tap, modern — it was naches (the satisfaction gained from life’s gifts) for everyone in the audience.

Last night, I asked my kinder about the show and what A Midsummer Night’s Dream was about. Here is what they said:

Little: It’s about a donkey and an umm, queen and a king. And what was Z in the second show? Oh yeah, the queen’s daughter. And a man who turns into a donkey and fairies and umm, and an umm, wood sprites. ‘Cause that’s what (Big) was, a wood sprite. I liked when the donkey, who was really Jakiel, eats the grass and when he was really funny with the audience.

Big: So there’s a Queen, Titania, and she has a husband and they get in a big fight. Puck comes and, the husband, he asked Puck if he can borrow these magic flowers that if you sprinkle them on someone, the first person they see, they will fall in love with. You have to do it to people only while they are asleep. And so, he umm, he did it on Titania — sprinkled the flower stuff. And then, these actors come out, and Puck grabs one of them and gives him a donkey head. He (the Donkey) scares all the actors away. And then, he accidentally trips over Titania. She wakes up and falls in love with the donkey because of the flower magic. She was supposed to fall in love with her husband, but they had a big fight about their daughter. Then, I know! They both (Titania and the Donkey) go to sleep and then the husband has the magic flower and he sprinkles it on Titania and she wakes up and falls madly in love with him again. Puck comes on and takes the donkey head away, and that is all I know. Ohhh, and the whole thing, it was the Donkey-headed guy’s dream! That’s why he scratched his head at the end.

I asked them, what was the best part of being in the recital?

Big: I just love dancing. I liked the flowers on my costume, and I liked how the bottom was like a tutu, and I liked the wings.

Little:  I really like twirling, twirling a lot.

The littles of the elementary ballet! Too cute, these kinder!

In Act II, my Little, she danced with her elementary ballet class to Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty. Big, she was an orphan in Annie, dancing with her class in jazz 1 to, Hard Knock Life

Big: I loved it. It was fun because I love Annie, I love that song, it is fun to pretend to be orphans and that dance is just fun.

Little: My dance was from sleeping beauty. I don’t know what it was about, but I got to twirl. I liked the roses on my costume and twirling. I liked when (Big) danced with the bucket and slammed it on the floor too.

All in all, I was beaming. And for two shows, a couple of hours each, I actually forgot about the mishegas (craziness) that is happening in our world. Such a simcheh (joyous occasion) I wish for all of you!

Thank you for letting me go on about my kinder today.