We find our way to our seats in the dimly lit auditorium, wave to a few familiar faces and open our program. How many years have we done this now? Nine? Ten? I sit low and heavy in my flip-down theatre chair and sigh a good, long satisfied sigh. We made it. Another recital, another year over. Now it is time to relax and enjoy the fruit of our daughter's labour and our hard-earned money.
I'm taking pictures but still I gaze adoringly at the once chubby arms, now long and lean, stretching with gentle elegance. She and her fellow dancers are trained to smile but there's something behind hers that denotes more than just obedience. She's right where she wants to be. The stage, the costume, the dance, this is where her mind takes her on days that are long and weary. I had become cross with her a few times this year when she forgot her dance bag or when she was late again and made us all wait in the van. But as she glides across the stage, spinning and then poised just so, I am overwhelmed by the shear blessing of being able to provide this path for our daughter and the rest melts away.
We go for ice cream later and we hang up the tu-tu for the summer. It's June again and I don't know how we got here or how she grew into a ballerina. It all feels like we were just laughing and twirling together in the living room, pretending she was a "real" dancer. My husband and I have always told this girl that we pray she would use her gifts for the Lord, who gave her the ability in the first place. We're beginning to see this come to fruition as she would wake up the next morning and perform a worship dance for Father's Day in our church. And as our girl grows in her physical skills, we are ever aware that her spiritual connection to her heavenly Father is growing as well. Joining the two is honouring her Creator. And that is a very good reason to dance.