Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Dance

There are moments in life that you know you will remember forever. There are the obvious ones like the day that you get married or the birth of your children, but then there are the others. The ones that you had no idea were about to happen, but when they do, time seems different somehow. The rest of the picture gets fuzzy while you focus on that moment. Almost like your brain knows that this is special and is something that you are going to want to look back on someday.

Last night was one of those moments.

Everyone had gone home after celebrating Elyse’s third birthday. Elyse was fresh out of the tub and was sporting one of her brand new nightgowns from Aunt G and Uncle D. Her hair was still damp, and she was playing with the Disney Princess cd player that Aaron had gotten for her. As she listened to the music and bopped around to “Be Our Guest” and other Princess favorites, she asked her daddy to dance with her.

I stopped cleaning up the party mess and just watched the two of them bouncing back and forth. Mike spun her around and she twirled like a little ballerina. What caught me the most, more than anything else was the way that she looked at him; those sweet, sparkly blue eyes, her round little baby cheeks, and her hair still wet from the bath. He is her hero; it was written all over her smile.

I grabbed the video camera and caught some of it on tape. While I stood there watching them I was overwhelmed with emotion and I started welling up with tears. It was impossible not to imagine a day, many years from now when the two of them will dance together, but instead of her little Hello Kitty nightgown, she will be wearing a wedding gown. She won’t have just come from her bath, but will have spent hours preparing for the most important day of her life. Many things will have changed by then, but the one constant will be the way that she will look at him because even though daddy’s little girl eventually grows up, he never stops being her hero.

I could have watched them forever, but I stopped taping and went on to finish cleaning up. Without a doubt, that was one of those moments. I will remember the two of them dancing in our living room for the rest of my life, and when the day comes that she asks her daddy to dance with her at her wedding, it will be hard to watch them and not see the little girl in the Hello Kitty nightgown dancing with her daddy on her third birthday.