Mickey and Minnie did great. Three shows, months of rehearsals, one cast party, late bedtimes, backstage chaos, etc. Mickey held it together through all of it – not only that but he loved it. And that was obvious on stage. His joy was evident and I was stopped by many people to tell me what a joy he was to watch because you could see his absolute excitement. He knew his parts and did them well. Minnie, as usual was her larger than life self on the stage and she is anxious to move up to junior company next year (4 roles instead of 2).
He is already excited about next year. Mickey talked to the boy in apprentice company who holds the role Mickey covets – Nutcracker prince and that very sweet young man offered to help Mickey with the “boy” roles for next year. Mickey isn’t and won’t be old enough for the Nutcracker prince, nor is he an experienced enough dancer, but I love that N was so sweet to offer and Mickey was so excited to work with N. N is kind of a legend in Mickey’s mind – he has been dancing for years and is quite good, but Mickey has watched him grow from young Fritz to the Nutcracker prince, with roles in the chocolates dance and several others.
I volunteered backstage and that is utter chaos and so much fun. Flowers were given to both of my children – from me on Saturday, along with their traditional Nutcracker, and from my parents today. I normally don’t purchase the dvd, but I will because today is something that I won’t forget…today, Mickey proved that he isn’t to be underestimated and that when the motivation is right, the coping skills in place and the passion for something – he will fight his Autism tooth and nail and sometimes he will win. He survived approximately 11 hours this weekend, over two very long days completely out of his comfort zone – backstage, away from me, with no snacks, stayed up late, was around 107 other dances in chaos and noise, nervous and excited, and he didn’t melt down. Not one incident. He hit his marks, did his performances, was on stage when and where he was supposed to be, in the correct costume, etc. This doesn’t amaze me with Minnie, she has been doing this since she was 4 and none of these things (other than the late hour of Saturday night’s show) have ever been an issue for her, but all of these are issues for Mickey.
Both kids fell apart when they got home tonight and struggled to come down off the Nutcracker high, but I am going to disregard that. I am going to go with feeling very proud of both of them. I love that Mickey has found something that he enjoys and doesn’t frustrate him (he liked soccer and karate but hated that he was bad at them). I love that Minnie aspires to be Clara and keeps dancing in the Nutcracker for the opportunity to be Clara and that Mickey wants to be the Nutcracker prince.
I should mention that what I don’t grasp is the desire to perform on stage. I liked team sports, I liked band, I loved dance and gymnastics, but refused to do recitals or exhibitions and never, ever wanted to dance in front of people. My desire to be a star is completely non-existent and likely the earliest signs of my social anxiety disorder, but I love that my kids like to perform. That they can enjoy the accolades and the benefits of their hard work. I love that they have found a studio where they are accepted and given opportunities – even though they may never be the best dancer (they might, but right now they are just enjoying the process). I am immensely grateful that they work with Mickey and see him for how awesome he is and what he can do and not for how challenging he can be (and trust me, they know how challenging he can be). So, tonight I head to bed with pride and happiness in my heart – that their Nutcracker weekend was everything they wanted it to be.
The newest nutcracker additions – the green one on the left is Mickey’s and the Mouse drummer 2nd from the right is Minnie’s. Their roles are already written on the bottom and Mickey suggested some sort of special display shelf for his so that he can enjoy it all year long.