Bryn Gallagher: Here’s to the Nutcracker

Bryn Gallagher

Sunday marked my last performance in Footworks Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker, and as I stood there in my sparkling tutu looking over the battered old props for the last time I promised myself two things. One, I was going to do the role of Sugarplum, the Artistic Director, and my tutu justice; and two, I was not going to cry. Not this time.

Well I did keep good on one promise. I danced well. {sidebar id=65}
 
I did cry, a little, against my desperate choking attempts to hold it in I got in my Prius and wept.
 
It wasn’t the theater that made me cry; I’ll see that thick velvet curtain one more time. It wasn’t the Nutcracker that made me cry; hopefully I’ll have more in the future. It wasn’t even the newly developed and painful sesamoiditis in my foot (though that really wasn’t helping).
 
I was crying because it was the last Nutcracker with my entire ballet family. The next time I face the Nutcracker, I won’t have my baby ballerinas to high five in the wings. I won’t have the same teachers to keep me going. I won’t have the same people to run out and see. 
 
I was holding it together, I really was, until I got a note. A note from a crazy little girl who I had no idea I was important to. It simply read, “I’m really going to miss you when you go to college.” “Really” was crossed out and rewritten and “to” was as well. All in the loping scrawl of a second grader.
 
That note meant more to me than the beloved velvet curtain, out shone my dying pointe shoes, and even managed to dull the pain of my sesamoiditis (which sounds so much cooler than it is).
 
That note is what cemented it: this time next year I most likely won’t be here. If I write a column, it might be about how much I despise snow, or what adventures college life has brought me.
 
I know I don’t have to say goodbye to anyone yet, we are still in the first semester and acceptance letters are just barely rolling in, but this last Nutcracker made me realize just how much I want this year to last. Just a little more time with my friends, just a bit longer with my family.
 
Here is to the people in my life, the people who inspire me to keep going and to keep writing. Here is to the holiday tradition of the Nutcracker and the panicked but excited feeling the overture brings. Here is to every little kid that have shown heart and wisdom beyond anything I could show.
 
Here is to you; here is to the holidays; here is to break.
 
Remember everything that you do has some impact, no matter how small, on someone else’s life.
 
Have a good one.
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