the realness of dreams

My Dearest Clara,

It is well past midnight. Our Christmas party is over, the guests have gone, and you are, at last, in bed. And I have snuck back down the staircase, pushed the couch right next to the tree, and am curled up on it, pondering the answer to your question.

Yes. The answer is yes.

Tonight as I tucked you in and kissed your forehead, you asked me to stay. To stay and listen to your dream. Your marvelous, fantastical dream of adventure, and a nutcracker, and a giant rat, and a sugar plum fairy who commanded a world of sweets to dance for you.

After you had told me all of it you paused, and looked at me, and asked if I thought it could have been real. This dream that felt so vivid and true. And before I replied, you had drifted to sleep.

So here I sit, wrapped in a blanket, writing to you in the small hours of the night. Because I could not sleep. Not before answering your question.

Dreams are more real than the moments we are awake. For dreams are the companions of our hearts. They interpret our hopes, give voice to our longings. It is in dreams that our deepest wishes come to life.

So yes, I do think your dream was real.

As I look out the window at the setting of the full moon, I know the day is about to start. The night of your dream is ending. And its realness is about to begin.

Listen to your dreams, sweet girl. For they are whispering you into your future.

And know that I am always here to listen to them, too.

with all my love,


Mama Stahlbaum


Love this Nutcracker Love Note? You can pin it.

This is the eleventh year I have performed in The Nutcracker. It is my tenth year as Clara’s mother, the ninth time I have written a letter to the dancers.  Here are the links to the letters for the past eight years: the secret is you, messy messy joy joy, stage fright, the balance pointe, home for the holidays, blizzards of truth, life in ¾ time, in a nutshell.

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