My Heart Dances

When Harper was in the NICU, I prayed many prayers. Some general, ‘Lord, please save my baby!’ And some more specific, ‘Lord, I have dreamed of watching this tiny girl dance, of dressing her in sequins and tutus. Please strengthen her lungs. Please heal the hole in her heart. I just want to watch my girl dance!’

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Last night, my dream came true. As I sat next to my husband, holding my breath, once again asking God for strength for my little girl, I became overwhelmed with emotion. At first I fought the tears, but soon realized it was no use, and there was no shame. Truth is, I didn’t fight them long. All it took was seeing Harper’s name in the program.

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Harper started tap and ballet just weeks after turning three in January. She is the youngest in her class and was the new girl. She is a little more timid than all of the other dancers, showing hesitation at times. Stage-fright, maybe?! At home, she is a dancer. A mover and a shaker! I addressed my concerns with her dance instructor. “Did I start her to early?”  “Is she not ready?” I don’t want to be that mom. The one living vicariously through her daughter. Forcing her to do something that she doesn’t want to do.

Mrs. Lisa assured me, ‘Harper is a dancer! She pays attention. She takes notes. And I have a feeling that when she gets on that stage, she will surprise you.

Surprise us indeed!

Watching Harper take the stage, all those pink sequins glittering under the bright lights, her face glowing…it was best described by a woman that I sincerely admire, an amazingly talented photographer, a Christ loving Momma, Mrs. Dana Perkins. Dana described watching her sweet girl dance as watching her heart dance on stage. Beautifully and perfectly said.

I felt vulnerable. I wanted so badly for her do it! I wanted her to have fun. I wanted her to be as proud of herself as I would have been even if she had froze up and forgot every step. But she didn’t. Not even close.

As we were walking in to the auditorium on our way to the dressing room, Harper stopped in her tracks. She had something to tell her Daddy. “Daddy, I am going to dance SO good!”

My girl danced better than ‘SO good’.

She faced the audience, and from the very first beat of ‘The Little Mermaid’ to the very last beat, she was movin’ and groovin’, shimmying and shaking. Tears! Laughter! Cheers!-all simultaneously for three consecutive minutes. I wish I had counted how many times me and her Daddy said to each other, “She is doing it!” It sounds like maybe we lacked faith in her. That’s not the case. I have all the faith in the world in that little girl. She, after-all is to thank for the strength I have in my faith. But when your heart is exposed, when your heart is under the bright lights and on a stage , your instinct is to protect it. I wanted to protect her, from her fears and from her doubts.

But she didn’t need my protection. She was brave, and strong, and BEAUTIFUL!  Seeing her be all of those things and not need my protection, it hurts a little. But more than anything, I was consumed with pride!

Saying you love someone so much it hurts, has never been more true.

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