When Abby runs its more of a bounce that sends her long hair swaying back and forth. When she finally gets to me she jumps up into my arms, squeezes me tight, and digs her head into my neck.
Dance class isn’t exactly my thing. Typically I take my son to football or baseball practice and my daughter is taken to dance class by her mother or grandmother. However, in my few weeks of no sports for my son I’ve come to love taking my daughter to dance.
It’s amazing how one factor can override so many others in learning to love something. The stress of getting her dressed (which usually includes searching high and low for lost dance shoes), driving through traffic on one of the busiest streets in the area at 5pm to make it to dance class that starts at 5:15pm, and the new topics of conversation and screaming children in the waiting area of the dance studio are all areas that can run many people (not just dads) off from our weekly trek. However, there is one singular overriding factor that makes it all worth it.
When I drop Abby off she runs in and gets in line as soon as we get there. I stand at the 2-way mirror and watch her for a few minutes before I decide to navigate the unfamiliar surroundings to try to find a seat where I’m not accidentally sitting somewhere that someone had already chosen but was up chasing one of their children who is on a dead run for the parking lot or near a group that will be discussing a topic that I left behind long ago…like the consistency of a child’s diaper. Yes, that is a real example…
All that to say, my daughter doesn’t know where I’m sitting when she comes out of the dance room. However, I always chose a seat that faces her door. I want to see her as she comes out because she always does the same thing. She opens the door, takes 2 steps, and then begins scanning the room. I know that she’s looking for me and so I watch her and wait for that one awesome moment. Finally, she sees me.
When she sees me her eyes get big and her smile lights up and she runs over towards me. When Abby runs its more of a bounce that sends her long hair swaying back and forth. When she finally gets to me she jumps up into my arms, squeezes me tight, and digs her head into my neck. I’m still not quite sure why I get this reaction every time. She saw me 30 minutes ago and she knows I’m not going anywhere. She loves to dance, maybe it’s that joy flowing over.
I don’t know. But I love it. Because that joy that she had spill over into her hug spills over into me. I carry her to the car and hold her tight while she hugs my neck. She has the most infectious little laugh you could ever hear as I tickle her while we walk. Then on the ride home she sings all the words that she can possible remember to all the songs. It’s still a little early to tell how good of a singer she will be, but she loves to sing and I love to listen.
I’m not exactly emotionally unavailable. I’ve got a big, tender heart so when I say that taking her to dance melts my heart we aren’t talking about going from tough guy to teddy bear. We’re talking about teddy bear (no matter how much I want to be the tough guy) down to a puddle of lovable goo.
I’ve got a big, tender heart so when I say that taking her to dance melts my heart we aren’t talking about going from tough guy to teddy bear. We’re talking about teddy bear (no matter how much I want to be the tough guy) down to a puddle of lovable goo.
So no matter how much it stresses me out to search for dance shoes and navigate traffic and avoid conversations about newborn bowel movements it will never stop me from looking forward to that moment after her dance class when Abby’s eyes meet mine.