SOMETIMES WHEN I CRY — especially if I’m lying down — I think of the lyrics of a particular, peculiar country song: I’ve Got Tears in My Ears.
I’ve got tears in my ears
From lyin’ on my back in my bed
While I cry over you.
Remembering that song can actually, on occasion, make me smile while I cry.
I cried a little yesterday.
I was dancing with my daughter at the time.
I’m not a dancer. If you can picture me dancing, you don’t know me.
I grew up in a religious culture that I think of as Christian Pharisee. Lots of rules. Made up rules that have squat to do with the Bible.
Rules like “Don’t dance.”
Imagine a pastor writing a note to a grade school phys-ed teacher:
“Please excuse Stevie from square dancing. For religious reasons.”
If I were attending the same church today, I’d consider deducting from my offering those $70/hour dancing lessons I had to take this summer so I don’t make a fool of myself and my daughter during our father/daughter dance at her wedding in three and half weeks.
When I danced with my daughter yesterday—a practice for the wedding dance—I didn’t cry because of all the money I spent to learn where to put my feet.
And it wasn’t because my feet didn’t go where my money told them to go. My feet moved just fine, though I confess my daughter led.
She’s like that.
She came to earth that way, from God above.
The tears punched their way out because I was thinking about a video that my wife took many years ago, when my daughter, Rebecca, was two years old.
In the video, I reached out to her. She came into my arms. I picked her up. We danced for the longest time. Swirls around the living room.
She kept leaning her head way back, so I could spin her around me again and again and again.
Finally tired, she leaned her head on my shoulder and rested while I continued to dance.
Back then, she was mine to love and to cherish.
In a few weeks, I’ll be handing her off to someone else who will love and cherish her.
I’m happy for them both.
And happy for myself, because the one thing parents want most for their kids is happiness.
If daughter’s happy, daddy’s happy.
But those weren’t happy tears I dropped as I danced yesterday.
“This is the first time I’ve danced with you since you were two years old,” I told her.
I should have danced with my daughter more.
There is a time to cry and a time to laugh.
There is a time to be sad and a time to dance.
It’s called a wedding.