September is typically a crazy, crazy month; a jump-start to a new school year full of activity and frenzy. I find myself verbalizing phrases like "we live from day-to-day" (or hour-to-hour), or "we're flying by the seat of our pants." My good husband paused us both for a few minutes last night in the crowded High School auditorium where we were embarking on an evening of meeting our two daughters' teachers to gently remind me that even though we feel carried away by the tide of September-ness, ultimately we are making choices about whether or not we're in charge of the journey. It's true. We make choices that throw us face-first into a maelstrom, and also decisions about how we handle the commotion that happens as a natural consequence of choosing it.
With that as a preface, mid-September has to be the most chaotic month to have a birthday. (I have a daughter born five days before Christmas. I stand by my word.) Planning ahead (WAY ahead) for a celebration in the midst of all the upheaval that is September always feels like the right thing. This year we made plans. In July. We knew that in addition to the bedlam we could predict, there would be the disruption of moving a college student to Idaho. Purchasing tickets in advance felt right. So we did. Who knew that on the list of events we would not be able to predict, would be a pre-birthday girl stricken by a LONG bout with a mysterious cold virus turned into pneumonia? Not her. Not me.
Miss Rooney's solitary birthday wish for a momentous 16th birthday observance was a trip to New York City to see Alice's Adventures in Wonderland performed by the National Ballet of Canada. The company would be in town for one week only. I thought we could take a day off from school, have a day in the city, and cap it off with the ballet before driving home the same night. It was a good plan. Until she missed a week of school because she was so sick. We consulted with her doctor, and he insisted we go. She was on the mend. We decided to forego the day in the city, lest she miss so much school work she became buried under it.
The enthusiastic birthday fairy (that's me), picked her up at school during her last class of the day, and whisked her into the car for our four hour ride into the city. We got there with time to spare, so we took a walk into Central Park and visited the Alice in Wonderland sculpture. It was the perfect way to begin our evening.
She loved it. We both did.
From there we made our way to Lincoln Center.
By way of scenes of New York which we love:
Man on a park bench.
Moroni atop the Manhattan temple.
Even though we were short on time, we tried to squeeze as much out of New York City as we could. After the park, we ducked into a Starbucks to change our clothes. I felt very happy to find on-street parking, and we walked a few blocks to the theater. Rooney was SO SO excited to discover that our visit coincided with New York's fashion week! Too bad we didn't have more time to explore all things fashion; we did get a kick out of some Drag Queens-for-hire who were staging a mini protest to Fashion Week. Hilarious.
Rooney was eager to get into the theater.
We opted out of dinner for fear we might miss something, but neither one of us felt hungry--we were too anxious for the ballet. Another good reason to return: for a bite (in) the Big Apple.
The theater was gorgeous.
The setting was perfect.
We had front row balcony seats on the right. We felt like VIPs in our own box. It was a very intimate setting. I don't think there's a bad seat in the house.
We especially loved having a birds eye view of the Orchestra.
It really was amazing.
The dancing was exquisite, the cast was fun and full of personality, and there were some entertaining surprises. Bravo! The National Ballet of Canada nailed it.
It was a perfect night.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was breathtaking and my blonde ballerina can't wait to come back.
Turning sixteen at the ballet was magical.