Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Nutcracker Sweet!

My family was rooted in tradition when I was a kid. We had a big family Christmas and everyone was there. We packed ourselves in rooms together and gave up our bedrooms for the grandparents. It was a good old fashioned family Christmas.

Every Christmas as long as I can remember our entire family would attend The Nutcracker Ballet together. We would get dressed up and head with my dad and his three brothers and their families to watch some Christmas magic. It was of course in downtown Chicago which, if you haven't been there around Christmas, you should see it just once.

As I kid, I really didn't enjoy this. I had to wear dress pants and probably some God awful itchy sweater that my Mom loved. However, what I did like was that we went as a big group to somewhere special that was our time together.

We haven't done this in forever. With most of us grown up and with families of our own the logistics in themselves are mind boggling. We can barely get together for Christmas anymore and my family lives in entirely another state as do some of the uncles and aunts. I wish we could have some of the magic back.

I barely remember getting specific presents when I was a kid and not one thing really sticks out in my mind. Why then, do I remember this the most out of all the Christmas memories? Oh yeah, because it was what my dad did after the ballet that made it memorable.

It must have been around the time that stereo systems first came out with CD players because my Dad was all about the Dolby Surround Sound. We all came home and he was in the spirit of the ballet and popped in his copy of the Nutcracker Suite.

He disappeared for a few moments only to reappear in the hallway dressed in long underwear; twirling and spinning to his heart's content. I never laughed so hard in my life and still chuckle just thinking about it. I am literally LOLing right now.

What I have taken away from this spectacle (and it was a sight to behold)is that as a dad, you have to take advantage of times where you will make a fool of yourself for the benefit of your kids. Someone in my scouting pack said when asked if they got roped into doing a certain event responded that they "get to" do these things with their kids.

Growing up with three brothers, I didn't have a lot of exposure to girly stuff so I am glad that I "get to" have tea parties with my daughters and dress up with them. Today, we had a princess party and my five year old told me I couldn't come unless I was dressed like a princess. I think that I sufficiently fulfilled those requirements, don't you think? As always, it is all for my kids benefit. I am awesome of making a fool of myself for their benefit and I am sure a lot of you other dads are as well.

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