Every year, the fourth graders of my daughter's elementary put on a production of the Nutcracker. All the kids who have not yet reached the 4th grade get up and go to school every morning because they know that one day, they too will get to dance on stage and sing songs set to Peter Tchaikovsky tunes.
Last night was my daughter's night. Her turn to bask in Nutcracker glory. She was candy flute. Covered in too much make-up and just a tough of body glitter she literally shined on stage as she danced with her plastic candy cane.
Everything was quite nicely done. Their customs where beautiful, yet simple. The kids all seemed to be excited and on their game. At only 30 minutes long, I give the production an A++.
But while we sat and waited for the show to start I had another experience. One that reminded me just how lucky I am to be able to send my daughter to this school. Its a public school in one of the best districts in our nation. As we sat and listened to the sound check I heard Alex's Aunt, who is just two years older comment, "They have a really good sound system. It's better than ours." Yes, it probably is. We have a top of the line sound system in our cafeteria while the middle school on the other side of the freeway has one in they auditorium that is held together by duck tape and hope. (Remember it's public so no prayers).
The Aunt also marveled a the announcement about the 4th grade field trip to Austin to visit the Texas History Museum. Her 4th grade class, went to the Test of Texas, a local restaurant (which Alex did too) to learn their Texas History.
Then there was a call for donations. Our computer labs have not been updated since (gasp!) 2004! So PTA is hosting an auction at the Marriott in the spring. They are asking people to donate a stay at their ranch, sky lodge, or beach house. How about Airline miles or day at the Club? Anything that might bring in some much needed funds. While my sister was laughing at the suggestions I had to say, "Hey at the fall festival they raffled off two ipods, and a Vera Bradly sleepover bag."
Oh, and there were also the calls for donations for our "Sister School". An elementary school just across the freeway whose students are in need of shoes and coats and Christmas presents.
It was a very humbling experience. To watch this wonderful play and be reminded of the great gift of opportunity my daughter has.