My nutcrackers tell me stories


The sparkly red one holds a chest.

A chest of my memories.

Looking at it, seven years of Nutcracker memories flood into my mind: Midland, a mouse named Brownie, costumes.

The little green chest keeps my memories safe.

The red, blue, and gold one with a plaque holds a trumpet. Almost two hours of songs are held in that trumpet.

Songs that are engraved into my head with choreography stuck in my body. Songs I never get tired of.

The hours and hours of rehearsal for just one scene return to my mind when I look at the plaque.

The one of Drosselmeyer reminds me of the first time I was in my favorite scene.

It reminds me of the itchy wig that sat upon my head and the flag I got to wave in my friends face. It reminds me of my awesome first “family” where I occasionally looked adopted with my blonde hair.

It reminds me of all the times I have copied Drosselmeyer’s steps in an attempt to learn the entire ballet.

The one with a Christmas countdown reminds me of all the times I wanted to start it 99 days before Christmas but couldn’t because the numbers on the dice wouldn’t let me.

All of my Christmas season memories are kept in that countdown. From building snowmen to looking at all of the presents exchanged in my living room, they are all safe in the countdown.

The attempts of ringlets and what finally stuck race back in my mind. The outcome of the final show’s hair with the most perfect ringlets that matched my “sister’s” and the fun I had bringing along my little “sister.”

The one with a Christmas tree on its head reminds me of the first time I got three new pairs of shoes.

The time I was the only returning party girl and was looked at to remember the steps mixed with the time I was one of five new Harlequins, struggling to remember the order of my favorite and most complicated Nutcracker dance.

The different characters by the tree remind me of all of my friends and the time spent with them. And some of my best friends becoming Clara for the first year.

The one that looks like a rockette and has a useless hole in the heart reminds me of a summer in NYC and the joke my mom and I have, but I love it all the same.

The little green chest keeps my memories safe.”

It reminds me of my soldier years, when I wished I was a trumpet or drummer so I climbed up every rank in the army—I would have been the first, but I was fine leading the group.

It reminds me of the week spent away from my family with my friends and all of the crazy rehearsals and fun outings that went with it. And, inevitably, the Greek God project that I had to do for homework.

The pink and purple one.

This one reminds me of the most parts I ever earned. The time I had a wacky casting like the professionals. The time when the most stressful part was the easiest in theory, but I was the tail and had to balance my leg out in the air to not rip the dragon and traumatize the audience. The time I couldn’t be scared of the cannon that I wheeled onto stage.

The year I roamed around the city and watched movies in the dressing room. The year I didn’t think would be my last but, just in case, I filled my phone with pictures.

The year I unknowingly said goodbye to Devos, at least for now.

The years I will never forget are kept in these nutcrackers. And I am so thankful I have the memories and the opportunities.