Beccalynn married a Counting Mutant. Together they created a Renaissance family. Wild Oat found them in his 20s and now is married with three kids. Ase and Zany, former dancers who now bravely face life as emerging adults. Girly dances, collects dead things and faces her teen years with superpower logic. Creatively they navigate life through Jesus’ gift, asking uncomfortable questions to discover the deep love that awaits us all.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Ten Things of Thankful-The Nutcracker Edition.
It is finally Nutcracker week. My favorite week of the whole year. I am thankful for so much when it comes to Nutcracker that ten things is not enough, but these are my top ten:
journey started in 1999. I took the boys to a community theater kids’
production of Once Upon a Mattress. On the walk home Ase said, “Mom. I want to
2002 found us moving back to this wilderness. One of the
selling points was he could dance here. It took us a little while to find the
studio that fit us but in 2004 Ase started tap. Zaney and GirlyK took ballet. That
year we attended the studio’s production of The Nutcracker. Most of the Party
Scene Boys were played by girls. After the show, Ase looked at me and said,
“That’s just wrong.
Boys need to be played by boys. I need to take ballet.”
That was it. Soccer, baseball, basketball came and went.
Their first love was dance. Teasing from other boys within church, school
groups and other places didn’t discourage them. It didn’t matter if they didn’t
have friends or were accepted. Feeling God’s joy as they used the talents they
had was enough.
The Counting Mutant’s
Dance Career- began when he realized dance was their sport of choice. If
they had chosen football, he would have helped. He co-coached a basketball team
and soccer teams. Around Jr. High the boys left everything behind for the
sweaty rooms filled with girls. He made the offer, if they needed help with
Nutcracker, he would be willing to audition as the Nutcracker. They took him up
on the offer. To watch all four of them dance together makes my heart soar. The
Mutant is 6’3” which makes his Nutcracker well over 7’. It was the first year
GirlyK was not a soldier.
Two Nutcrackers ago, Ase played the Nutcracker Prince, which was a
bit poetic. Nutcracker-Mutant dies and Nutcracker Prince-Ase carries Clara
through a land of snow to a land of candy.
This year, Zaney’s dream came true and he plays Mouse King.
Years of backyard sword fighting with his brother paid off. Through rehearsals
and performances the two of them wordplay Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings and just
regular man smack talk as they battle to the death.
GirlyK is in heaven as well. She is tall enough to be a
mouse and back in battle scene. This time helping her brother war against her
father, talk about a family dynamic.
Rehearsals begin in September. Weekends are spent, a few hours here and there
working toward this common goal. Even if we not always in the same room or the
same time, at some point in time the rehearsal is talked about at the dinner table.
We laugh about in the car.
The Music- Our
studio has the privilege of dancing to a live symphony. I played violin when I
was younger. All of those individual instruments playing their own notes and
woven together by a conductor is a most beautiful sound. All those differences
working together in unity is the perfect example of how we should all live.
Sewing- My Mom
taught me how to sew at the end of high school. Off and on I used it, but never
as a fully devoted hobby. One year I noticed the Mouse King’s cape was a little
tired. I made a suggestion and for whatever reason they let me make a new one.
Soon after came a new Mouse King costume, The Mutant needed a new Nutcracker
jacket, a friend taught me how to make a pattern and somehow I made it. Each
year tests the limits of my self.
The Nutcracker Jacket-
It was the first creative project we had ever done together. The Mutant’s grand
ideas and my sensibilities often collided within practicalities. The kids
lovingly refer to this year as “The year that tested Mom and Dad’s marriage.”
By performance time we spent much of the shows on opposite sides of the stage.
But we made it. We are still married and he listens to me. Who knew a Jacket
could be therapy?
my faith in Christmas-Growing up Christmas was dodgy and unpredictable.
With parents in ministry, it often seemed more about the production than reverence
and reflection. In my early adulthood it was downright devastating. The days
between Thanksgiving and Christmas have a new holiday for me-Nutcracker. It is
a time when we can argue, play, laugh, cry, make mistakes, give the silent
treatment, sleep and all other kinds of madness yet still be a part of something
filled with love and beauty. Each year we finish Sunday’s matinee a little sad,
and a little stronger as a family.
kids have trophies and medals. Mine have a nutcracker based on the roles they
have. Written on them is the year and what parts they played-even the
Understudy- Each person
has experienced the understudy. The dancer has to attend all the rehearsals,
learn the part just in case the person cast cannot perform. It can feel like a
pointless and unmotivating part to play, but they do it. The hope became
reality the year Soldier Doll didn’t show up for dress rehearsal. Ase hurried
to put on the costume and surprised himself and everyone else with what he
could do. The following year he was Prince
Drama- What is
theater without the drama? Ase, Zaney, and GirlyK have learned a lot about
themselves through dealing with personalities and preferences of others. From
divas to tech crew, they have learned that everyone is important and need to be
treated equally motivated by love.