Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Finally Sharing It With My Mom

The first time I saw the Radio City Rockettes I was thirteen years old. I remember it being so incredibly magical -- the costumes trimmed with white fur, the full orchestra, the splendor and ornateness of Radio City Music Hall. As a young girl who had taken tap classes since the age of five, seeing the famous Rockettes live and in person was huge for my teenage self. I sat there mesmerized for the entirety of the show completely enraptured. As I sat there taking it all in, I couldn't help but wish my mom was there with me.

We had been planning our trip to New York City for several months. The red eye bus was sponsored by a local hospital auxiliary where my mom's best friend worked. My mom and I along with our best friends (also mother and daughter) would board a tour bus at midnight that would drive us all night then drop us off in Times Square around 7 in the morning. We would have all day to explore the city and see the show before getting picked up again in Times Square late that night for the trek home. For what seemed like forever, my friend and I made places we wanted to visit with our moms -- the World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty. We wanted to do it all despite how little time we actually had in the city. I dreamed of crowded sidewalks, ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza, seeing the Rockettes and basically thought that it would be like stepping into the New York City snow globe that had a place of honor on my bookshelf.

About five months before the trip, my father left our family changing our lives forever. In the weeks and months that followed, I watched my mom struggle to scrape enough money together to pay the mortgage, while she and my father battled through attorneys. Because nothing was finalized there was no child support or alimony and we were barely getting by. I was old enough to realize that there would be no New York trip for us that year. In addition to the fact that my life had been turned upside down, I was also completely devastated that I wouldn't get to visit the city or see the Rockettes like I had been dreaming and planning about for months. I did my best to try to hide my disappointment from my mom and quit asking her about it.

A few weeks before the trip, my mom surprised me by telling me that I was still going with my best friend and her mom. My friends aunt would be going in my moms place. When I tried to ask how or why, she simply told me to just go and have fun. To this day I don't know where she came up with the extra money that would allow me to take the trip. When the time came, I boarded the bus and took a whirlwind trip that at the time was the trip of my life. I saw the Statue of Liberty and ice skaters in the Plaza. I ate lunch at Tavern on the Green, took a carriage ride through Central Park. I was in awe of the famed Rockefeller Christmas tree and the holiday store window displays. The highlight of the trip was our visit to Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. I am pretty sure I cried more than once while watching the show both because of the beauty of the show itself and the fact that my mom wasn't there to share it with me.

This Saturday, all these years later, my mom and I will finally get to see the National Tour of the Radio City Rockettes together in Pittsburgh. I am beyond giddy and have essentially returned to my thirteen year old self who can't sleep with excitement. I am so happy to be finally sharing this with my mom who so long ago made my dream trip a reality even though she couldn't afford to go herself. I don't know what sacrifices my mom made for that trip to happen, but I've never forgotten. I know that on Saturday when the orchestra begins playing and the dancers start tapping I'll be completely enthralled again, only this time it will be better because my mom will be there with me.

20 comments:

Elle Bee... said...

Oh Mandy! I'm so, so excited for you and your mom to share this.

Your mom sounds amazing.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a beautiful story! I am so glad that you are able to do this together, all these years later! I am sure it will be such a special experience for you both.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Aww what a wonderful story! I'm so happy that you get to share this experience with your mom. I absolutely LOVE spending time with my mom now that I'm older!

amanda said...

i've had such an emotional night...and this just added to it. oh gosh, what a lovely story. i love the rockettes...and i truly hope you and your mom have the most amazing time.

jnyfritz said...

That is a perfect story! you always have the most eloquent ways of sharing things, i hope you and your mom have the very best time!!

Kyla Roma said...

This is so beautiful Mandy, I'm so happy for you guys- enjoy! Really enjoy it =)

Little Fish said...

Oh I'm so glad that you get to share this with your Mom!! It's going to be so special for both of you. Have fun!

SoMi's Nilsa said...

What a wonderfully meaningful opportunity for you to spend some time with your mom.

willtherebecake said...

This post made me choke up. I'm so happy for you!

Pam said...

You made me cry - what a special post. I am sure your mother is just as excited to experience this with you. I am so happy for you!

nory said...

This gave me goosebumps reading it, even though I knew the story already! Sign of a great storyteller =)

I can't wait to hear all about it! Have a great time!

Frank said...

That was an amazing story.

So...when are YOU getting a book about your blog published?? Hmmmm???

RebeccaC said...

Enjoy the show. Sounds like a great experience for both of you.

Auburn Kat said...

What an amazing story! I am happy that you will be able to enjoy this with your mom. She sounds like an incredible woman!

MeLaNiE said...

So excited for you! I hope to see them this year in Nashville, but I need to get tickets quick! HAVE FUN & ENJOY!!

Cate said...

What a wonderful, heartwarming story, and how special that you are your mom can finally share that memory this weekend. Enjoy every second!

Bayjb said...

This is so great that you and your mom can share in this together. It will be something you both will cherish for so long. I cannot wait to hear about it.

Andy said...

I actually CRIED reading this... I'm so behind on my Google Reader it's not even funny, but posts like these are the ones that convince me of not marking all the posts as read.

I'm so excited for you! I saw the pics on Facebook and you actualy lookde gorgeous! :)

It's incredible what moms can do for us. I think we never imagine how much we mean to them until we have these little situations where you realize that to them, you're the world.

Thank you for reminding me of it.

Beya said...

Love this, have a wonderful time!!!

Katie said...

This is such a touching story. Moms are just the most amazing people. Mine never fails to amaze me with all the thought she still puts into my well being.

I'm so glad that you get to share this with your mom!

PS I took tap as a kid too! Wasn't it the BEST!?