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peanut versus almond

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The world is freaking out because the U.S. government has shutdown. But haven’t we known for some time that our government has become a petulant child and it was only a matter of time before they threw a fucking tantrum in the middle of the grocery store? That’s what this is. While we are all busy paying attention to this tantrum, more important things are going unnoticed and ignored but that is not my BIG concern today. I’ve got my own shit to obsess about. You know, mom shit that wouldn’t matter to anyone else in the world but it sticks in our crawl and drives us insane? Yeah, that!

A few weeks ago my daughters auditioned for the Nutcracker and I am happy to report have both been cast in this year’s production. Bella will be an ethereal angel and Gabs will be a sweet little parrot. Both are great parts in the second act. Both girls are excited. They’re ecstatic. Except for this one thing that is literally keeping me awake at night.

This will be Bella’s 4th year in the production and Gabi’s first. Gabi is thrilled to be a parrot because her favorite part of the Nutcracker is the Arabian coffee dance. She is over the moon, which is why writing this post makes me feel like a complete asshole. There will be whining because this is my safe place. Please don’t judge and if whining will make you think less of me, run away now. You’ve been warned.

I scanned the cast sheets and I saw my daughters’ parts. Thrilled! I know if you are not a parent of a child who plays a competitive sport, cheers or dances, right about now you are thinking, “Get a life, lady!” But if you are a parent like me, you understand that our child’s success, to see their little faces light up, is magical. It makes your heart feel like it’s going to burst with pride.

I get nervous and sick when they audition and I am over the moon for them when they achieve something they worked for. Only when my eyes neared the top of the page, there it was, in black and white… Almond Cast. Which is like being 1st runner up. Peanut cast is the opening night cast. Every year for the past 3 years my daughter has been a Peanut. Not this year.

Why should I care? I probably shouldn’t but maybe it’s the PMS or turning 41 or the dreary days we’ve been having but my brain won’t stop obsessing over this damn nut. My girls are thrilled. I fake it. I hate faking it. Never letting on what’s really going on in this box of crazy, I call my mind. But, inside, I am screaming What.the.fuck? Why God, why?

Here are the facts: my daughters have an extra year of dance on all the dancers at their level because they started at 3 instead of 4. My girls are dedicated and disciplined. They take the recommended amount of classes and I have the outrageous tuition to prove it. We are involved and volunteer backstage. All of our family comes in town to see the production. Every year, we’re peanut cast and this year…fucking Almonds. It’s like getting chosen last in dodge ball. I mean it’s not like something has happened to suddenly make my kids suck from last year. Luckily, my girls don’t know the difference and I will never tell them.

I’m keeping the mommy crazy in check. But I want to know why? I know the answer that they will give me; the casts are the same; apples and oranges. But this isn’t my first Nutcracker and we all know, it is unspoken, but the peanut cast is opening night and last curtain not the almonds. It’s like bizarro world, Jerry.

The girls will dance their parts and never know that 2013 was the year that their mom nearly went bat shit crazy over a cast list. We will still volunteer backstage and our family will still come to see the girls because I’m not telling anyone the difference between the fucking almond and peanut. And on their opening night, I will sit still in my seat next to my husband as our babies take the stage holding back the tears. Fucking pride always makes me bawl like a baby. When they are done, I will love them and praise them just like I would if they were in the peanut cast because no matter what cast they are in, they will have earned their part, rehearsed for months and taken the stage in front of hundreds of people. That is worth praising.

Tell me that I am not crazy. Tell me that I am not becoming a fucking bat shit crazy dance mom. Tell me that you have felt this sort of feeling before. I just want my girls to be the best at whatever they do but as long as they are happy, I will smile and pretend to be as well because when it really comes down to it, as long as they are happy, I am happy.

Bat shit crazy, signing off.

P.S. Don’t think the fact that I am acting like a petulant child is lost on me. I see the irony, only I don’t care. I’m entitled to my tantrum just as much as the U.S. government is, right?

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