I Hope You Dance

Posted: April 27, 2008 in Family and Friends

Hillary decided all on her own that she wanted to dance the summer before kindergarten. My only dancing experience came in dodging uncomfortable questions, so I was clueless. Somehow, we stumbled across Susan’s dance studio, an occurrence attributable to the grace of God

Hillary danced for Mrs. Susan in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. Dancing in third grade fell victim to Katrina, but everything returned for fourth grade – and now fifth.

When we told Hillary we were moving last November, one of her first (and most important) questions was if she would still get to dance. Most assuredly, yes. Still, that only eased the pain a slight amount because she would not be dancing for Mrs. Susan anymore.

Last night was Hillary’s final dance recital in Ocean Springs, and it was beautiful. All of Hillary’s grandparents came down for the show (which, believe it or not, is six people!), and everything was simply perfect. The show, titled “Simple Things,” was so appropriate for us, reminding us of a healthy focus in all the big changes ahead.

A few years ago an older dance student moved away to Houston prior to her senior year. The next year she made a surprise return to Mississippi to dance for Mrs. Susan at the recital. Hillary noticed.

Last night, after the recital, Hillary went up to Mrs. Susan to tell her that she wanted to come back and dance for her when she was a senior. Hillary started to cry, Mrs. Susan was about to as well, not to mention my wife and I who were watching from across the stage. Mrs. Susan made her promise she would, and she did.

When Hillary starts to cry, it usually takes a long time for her to compose herself, but last night she pulled it together quickly. After our hugs for Susan, I snapped a picture of the two of them together.

It is one memory, frozen in time: a wonderful dance teacher and a little protégé who wants to make her proud. I guess simple things really are the best things.

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