My in-laws are the hardest people to buy gifts for. They have everything. Literally. Maybe even two. So last year for Christmas we came to the same point on the list we come to every year.
“What are we going to get your parents?”
“I don’t know.”
It’s a good thing he’s cute because that’s not helpful AT ALL.
As we discussed what they like, the thing we kept coming back to was Brynna. She is their only grandchild, and we lived on the other side of the country for most of her life up to this point. So we decided to give the gift of time with her. We started looking for things we could all do together. David found info that the Houston Ballet was doing a production of Aladdin. Uh…dancing and a princess? Brynna is hooked. If she’s happy, Pops and Honey K are happy. Done and done.
The man gets stuff done! All is forgiven.
So a few weeks ago we all 5 went to the ballet. A few days before “the big day” I took Brynna to the mall and let her get a new “fancy” dress (her favorite kind). This was a multi-faceted move. Allow me to explain:
1) Fancy dress means you can’t do cartwheels
2) To wear a fancy dress, you must be on your best behavior
3) Being allowed to wear said fancy dress is an EXCELLENT bargaining tool if consequences are needed for compliance
4) Fancy dress means I shouldn’t see your panties. Ever. (I know we covered cartwheels, but thoroughness is necessary)
I’ll spare you the details of how many dresses we had to try on to find “just the right one” but I will tell you how to go about finding the right one (in the event you are in need of a fancy dress in the near future).
Step 1: Try on a dress.
Step 2: Twirl.
Step 3: Repeat as many times as necessary until maximum twirling height is attained.
The day of the ballet, she twirled to the car, twirled in to church and twirled back out. She twirled at the restaurant and twirled for a man in the elevator of the theatre parking garage. But when the curtain went up, the twirling ceased and my little person who can’t sit still the length of a Berenstain Bears book sat enthralled. For two and a half hours, she watched some of the most intricate choreography and story-telling I’ve ever seen. At the end of the day she even got to meet some of the dancers.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re remembering that I started this post about a gift for my in-laws and you’re right. That was the intent. But as they do, kids have a way of turning anything into more of an event than you planned. We went to spend the afternoon together. We went to see a performance by phenomenal dancers of award-winning choreography. We got that but what we will all remember is the way Brynna’s face lit up every time she twirled. We still talk about how she danced and curtsied through each intermission and had dance teachers applauding her in the hall. We remember how she sat so still and took in story elements I assumed were over her head. We laugh at how Brynna stole the show from some of the greatest talent we’ve ever seen.