In the life of a ballet mom, there's a special season each year, set apart from the rest, a time where normal life ceases, when one is caught up in a whirlwind of sugar plums, dancing mice and complicated schedules. It's Nutcracker season. For us, it lasts from the beginning of October until the end of the year. My daughter and I go through this season together, spending hours upon hours in the car, going from regular ballet classes in one city, to rehearsals and performances in another, most often in the midst of rush hour. The driving part, I don't love, but the rest is wonderful. It's as if life finally gets so busy, that there's nothing to do but just go with it. There's no more trying to figure out how I can juggle more things around, fitting everything I think I need to do into my schedule. I simply can't do anymore, so I don't. I surrender. I relax and enjoy myself, probably more so, at this, my “busiest” time of year, than at any other. Sometimes I have my son with me while I wait for my daughter. We use this time to explore the downtown area, ride the monorail, visit parks, go out for coffee, and play games. I love how it becomes our special time together, just the two of us. Other days, it's just me, and I get to read or write in a little corner of my favorite coffee shop, or I'll watch through the windows of the studio where the company members rehearse. Of course, the most exciting part is when I get to see my girl dance on stage. I don't know how many more years my daughter will perform in the Nutcracker. This could be the last one. That's what we said last year too. We never know. We'll just enjoy it while it's here.