A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Jenni and Misha

I just read my daughter's blog about one of the contributing factors to her adopting her children from Russia - Mikhail Baryshnikov (Misha). Oh, yes, I remember those days when she was so infatuated with him. Had to say I approved of her choice! She even wrote "MB" on her white sneakers. Of course, that backfired a bit because there was some guy at her school who had a crush on her and who also had the initials "MB". He was convinced that she reciprocated his feelings because she wrote his name on her shoes. Not so!!

But the best time was after we moved to California and we saw in the paper that Misha was going to do a performance of Giselle in San Francisco. Jenni wanted so much to go see him. I tried to get tickets, but there were none available. The only option was for us to go to SF and get in line for standing-room-only tickets. Which, of course, we did.

Disaster almost struck when we stopped for a donut and I got a flat tire. But AAA came through and we were again on our way. We got in line at the War Memorial Opera House with a lot of other people. Just sat down with the mob and waited for them to open the ticket window. After a few hours, they did and we managed to get our tickets. Then we had to wait another hour or so for the doors to the hall to open. Finally, there he was. Tights and all! We were in the back, but could well enough. After the show was done, I pushed Jenni up to the front for the curtain call so she could see him up close. Then we went outside to try to see him again.

We found the backstage door and waited. After 20 or 30 minutes, someone came out and said "Mr. Baryshnikov will not be signing autographs." A lot of people left, but I told Jenni we'd stay a little longer. Another 30 mintues and another announcement. But still we lingered. I figured this was a once in a lifetime experience and he had to come out eventually. More people left and now there were only about 30 or 40 diehards. Finally they came out and said "Mr Baryshnikov will sign a few autographs." Jenni's face got all red and her eyes were as big as saucers. She froze to the spot so I gently pushed her forward with the rest of the group to get in line. Misha had hurt his ankle and it was bandaged. He was leaning against a wall and wasn't in a talkative mood. But Jenni got to see him and get his autograph.

The whole ride home she was in a bit of a daze. At one point she told me that a friend of hers told her she'd never be able to see either the ballet or him. And she told that friend, "My mom will figure something out." And, thankfully, I was able to. The look on her face that day was one of those momemts that make motherhood an awesome experience.

And now, thanks to Misha, I also have two incredible grandchildren. Amazing what a difference he made in our lives - and he doesn't even know it!


Jenni said...

I remember that day so well! My anxiety over whether or not we would get tickets...plunging to the depths of despair when we got a flat tire, and then elation when it was fixed in time to get to the show! Meeting Misha was both amazing and a bit of a disappointment. I really wished he would have said something when he signed my program. Didn't he know that I had pictures of him adorning my bedroom walls? But then, if I had hurt my ankle, and tried 3 times to get the throng of people away from backstage so that I could return to my hotel room and mend in peace, I may not have been in the most friendly mood either.

Arlene said...

Awww, you really sound like a great mom! Now I know where Jenni gets it from :-)

Jenni said...

Thanks Arlene!