Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweet Magic

Last week we went into New York to see the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Extravaganza.  I've seen it about 5 times now, but Ava is finally old enough to sit through it and enjoy it, so her Mom and I took her.

It's an easy walk from their home to the train which ends up in Grand Central Station.  I have to say, I just love Grand Central, from the blue sky and constellations painted on the ceiling to the people rushing about in the main lobby.  I think of all the people and all the life stories that have passed over that granite floor for so many years.
When you come in, they give you 3-D glasses, which are only used at the beginning of the show.  It's fun though, because it looks like Santa is flying right over your head in his sleigh.  Ava refused to take hers off for the rest of the performance. 
 Ava and her adorable little friend, Hailey and Hailey's Grandmother met us there.  Both of the girls were just enraptured!  Plus, are they not so cute?!

These are just a few pictures I was able to take without completely annoying the people around me.  The show includes a little of everything...Santa, the Nutcracker, ice skaters on a real ice rink, and at the end, the nativity story, complete with live sheep, camels and donkeys. 

They just do such an amazing job of everything from the special effects, lighting, dancing, story-telling and using the curtains and entire theatre. 

The children were spellbound. 

And to be honest, because I am SUCH a dork, I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes because the sweet innocence of it is just so precious.  There are no bangity-bang rock music numbers, no scantily clad dancers wagging their rear ends around provocatively, just a magical program that never fails to bring the wonder of Christmas back to my old self, and the little children watching.  Looking at it, it's easy to see that there were hours and hours of practicing and rehearsing every little detail so that it comes off without a hitch.  For a $30 ticket, I tell you's absolutely worth it.

For me, the particular sweetness is mixed with the sorrow that when my own daughter and my other 2 kids were little, I had very few moments when I could just enjoy them. As a single parent, I was constantly worried about money, the car breaking down, and what to do if they were sick and I had to work, and what to do to get them, for five minutes, for Pete's sake, to stop squabbling with each other. So now with my granddaughter, I have a second chance and it's just a little bittersweet because of what I missed with my own kids. But maybe it's that way for most grandparents, because as any parent knows, it's really a tremendously important and consuming job to raise children. 
After the performance the girls looked over the balcony at the stunning Radio City theatre lobby.  Then we went to lunch and after that, they found a waterfall to throw coins in and make wishes.
(Not that Ava is a little ham or anything!)
I love that they are so serious about their wishing.  Ava stood there with her eyes closed concentrating on her wish for quite a while before throwing in her money.  What I wouldn't give to know what she is wishing for. 

Anyway, straight from Radio City to you, I hope your Thanksgiving is peaceful and filled with love and hope--and then on to the next holidays!!