Saturday morning. 7:00 am.
Two of my sons wake me asking, "Are our pants ready yet? We want to get dressed." In this house that never happens - most days I have to remind them repeatedly to get out of their pj's and put some regular (and clean) clothes on.
But today is a special occasion. Today those boys are wearing suits, by choice. Today those boys jump into the showers before breakfast and hound me a few more times to get those pants done.
At 8:00 am I get up and get going. Another son wants to know where his clothes are, have I washed them yet? Um no, because we're not leaving the house for another 2 1/2 hours and I just crawled, bleary eyed, out of bed.
The boys get their pants Mama-hemmed, four children shower, one gets a bath, all are dressed, all brush teeth and hair.
River gets to go to a babysitter. He's not going on this adventure with us. His oldest sister isn't going either so the plan is for her to pick him up at the sitters after an appt. she has and bring him home for the day. However, as soon as I dropped him at the sitters she showed up ... so both of them were loaded in the car and taken back home.
The other four children and I are ready to go. They look so good! Such handsome boys and a beautiful sister (who was largely responsible for the suits -- which were not my idea, but why not ... the guys were proud, looked great, and if you've got them you might as well wear them when you can.). Into the car for a 2.5 hour drive.
To where? Oh yeah, forgot to mention that. To see the Miami City Ballet (!) perform The Neighborhood Ballroom in West Palm Beach.
I don't have a bucket list, but if I did seeing the Miami City Ballet would be near the top. Last year I saw Alex Wong audition for So You Think You Can Dance and I was mesmerized. He was incredible, such power and strength and control. He wasn't able to be on the show because of his contract with the Miami City Ballet ... ok, so not only was he incredible (my logical conclusion was that the entire company must be just as talented) but the company he performed with was just a few hours away. Sounded great and, I thought, someday when I have the time and money I'll go see a performance. And then a few weeks ago, after talking with a friend about bucket lists and remembering that this would top mine, I did a wee bit of google searching and tickets start at about $20. Done deal, right then and there.
The kids (and I) find the theater itself to be enthralling. Beautiful. Great way to begin this experience.
The lights dim, the music begins, the curtain rises ... and most of us are on the edges of our seats.
The storyline is over the heads of most of the kids. The oldest two kind of get it by reading the program and hearing me tell them what I'd found about the program on the internet. No matter ... the costumes and action keep them entertained. There is action everywhere, we're not sure where to look so we're looking everywhere to not miss anything.
They all enjoy it, especially Mia (she is still on the edge of her seat at the end of the last act). One of the boys wants to leave midway through but sticks it out and says he's glad he did. All the boys agree that it was nice, but next time they'd rather do something else. We only see five children at the performance, and four of them are mine - really it isn't a performance geared towards children ... so the fact that they hang in there without any complaining, and enjoy it as much as they can means the world to me.
Myself, I spend the performance with eyes glued to the stage. The acts seem so short - what, an intermission after just a few minutes? (more like 30!). Is it what I'd hoped for? Yes, it is. Will I do it again? Oh yes!