The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Childhood Memories of a Magical Nutcracker Past

The young girls in holiday finery caught my eye as I stepped off the escalator onto the BART platform at the Civic Center station in San Francisco. 

They sat on one of the round marbled benches, maybe seven and nine-years old, carrying on a lively conversation with their wooden nutcrackers.  Their mother, in a black and silver lace blouse, was standing and looking up at the electronic schedule display.  I smiled and was about to ask how they had enjoyed the ballet when a lump swelled and my throat closed. 

My body had reacted before my memory caught up. 

The memory of standing with my mother on the steps of the War Memorial Opera House.  I was six, my sister, Cathy, was nine and big brother, Jimmy, was ten.  Mom was bent down, holding my coat collar, telling me to obey Jimmy and Cathy.  No squirming around and no talking during the performance.  She would meet us right back on the steps when the ballet was over.

The performance was magical! 

The beauty and glitter of the ballerinas, the enchanting music.  My memories are swirling collages of many colors, silver and gold sparkling, and wishing I were the star in my own ballet slippers, on point. 

The most glamorous event of my young life.

My mother barely scraped together the money for our tickets.  She could not afford to buy one for herself and she had my other two brothers at home to care for.  She was thirty years old with five children, making ends meet on a firefighter’s salary.  But the magic of the Nutcracker was a necessity she would not let her older children miss.

I still have the playbill tucked away with other childhood treasures. 

Thank you, Mom. 

Merry Christmas.

By Marianne Lonsdale

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