May I have this dance? Before I knew it he has whisked my partner away. Who in the hell came up with his idea to make it ok for someone to cut in and interrupt our dance. I bet some jealous bastard without good looks, confidence and ability to get his own made this up. Who else would
make up this sneaky underhanded move, that allows an asshole to cut into an other wise perfect dance between two people, and neither of the two can refuse? Life seems to be the dance. Love seems to be the song playing (not long version, extended life version). The two partners are my son and I. The longer in years that we dance, we have become synchronized and almost as one in our movements. What is scary is we can just about guess each other’s next move. Any flaws in the daily routine are obvious to us but clearly go unnoticed to the untrained eye. When we do make a mistakes, we laugh and keep going. Again, We laugh and we keep going. As a matter of fact, missed steps break the mold and make room for creativity. Before you know it, we have made stumbling stylish. It’s the dance of life between father and son, Daddy and baby boy, Big Richard and little Richard. Like most dancing that requires two people, it is not mandatory that you hold hands the entire dance. Even when we are apart with some considerable distance and with backs turned, please believe we are still in step with one another. Maybe this is what happens between mother and their babies on first contact. While Momma hold the new born close in her bosom, the baby hear and feels the rhythm of momma’s heart and thus the dance begins. The dance is not over until death forces us to part ways. As we have continued our dance over the years, I have experienced outsiders trying to cut in. Rather it was unfaithful friends, fast girls, or peer pressure, We have stayed the course and continued to dance. From birth, until he was about three or four years old we danced the salsa of father and son.
Divorce cut in and we both took a spin in opposite directions. By the time my head stopped spinning, we were miles and miles apart in different states. As a child, I’m sure he was very disoriented as well. When divorce cuts in, sometimes children are forced to dance with others, but you always remember your first teacher. We established our first visitation and the dance was back on. Every other week it’s seemed like we would spin in and out of rhythm from place to place. Every time we would get into the dance, reality would so rudely cut in. We would both cry at our separation. “I don’t want to go back, I want to stay with you,” he would say. As best I could, I would hum over his words, smile, and spin him back into the hands of divorce. I would always say, “Wipe your face man , one day we will be together.” Over the years, I learned that rather you are laughing or crying, it’s all a part of the dance. As a matter of fact, crying makes you appreciate dancing even more when the tempo picks up. At least, we were dancing together tears and all. Some young men have never felt the joy of Daddy dancing.
When he was in the seventh grade, it became our chance for me to cut in and finish the dance we once started years ago. Our first few steps were clumsy and awkward, but we quickly fell right back into the flow. Every boy loves to be lead, just like every dancer desires a great dance instructor. Our boys are not all bad and rebellious. When you have never been taught a basic eight count, it’s hard to get in step to learn anything else. For the next five years,we danced and danced with joy and happiness.
Our next turn was to dance him onto the dance floor of manhood. His feet have become to big and it’s time for him to go. If you are paying attention, you will notice subtle changes in your child that will clearly indicate to you that he is in need of his own dance floor. The first is his desire to lead. This should not be seen as rebellion, but a natural desire to see and do things his own way. Daddy’s moves which were once challenging and fun, have now become boring and predictable. The student thinks he can out dance the instructor. He now wants to dictate the ebb and flow and there can only be one captain. Many dance instructors fail because they refuse originality and input from their partner. Let the boy dance I say. He just needs to dance elsewhere. As I look back, we have advanced from standing on my feet as a baby dancing, to now I am spinning him onto his own dance of life. It was on this day it happened. He felt weak and sick so we took him to the hospital. Somebody is changing the record to sing we don’t like, but we keep on dancing. I hate being stuck on the floor dancing to songs I don’t feel. Year one, two, and three go by and now we have learned to dance but with limitations. I keep telling him, circumstances change but find your rhythm son. Never dance to anybody else’s beat. My daddy said, “You gotta march to your own drum beat.” The dance has become more and more difficult, but every day we lace up and hit the floor. Now as we dance, The outsider positions himself so I can see him desiring to cut in. I act as though I don’t see him. This
Is the part I don’t like. I am defensive, angry, and bitter, because I know the rules of dancing. You must let the additional dancer cut in, regardless of their intent. Cancer lurks on outskirts of our dance and I hate him for it. I know what this dance will do to my son. I reluctantly spin him into the hand of this unworthy partner with tears in my eyes. The only thing I can hope for is Angelo will get into and lead and not follow. I, with the help of others and the Lord, have trained him well in the art of dance. I watch cancer swing him and flip him in directions unknown to him, and not practiced by us. I want to stop the record but I can’t. As fast as I can, I get in to position to cut back in. My intentions are to get back what belongs to me. This in longer a dance, it’s a war. Cancer makes his spin and I am right there to catch my boy’s hand and we are back at it. As I look at him, I can tell he is not the same physically. Every time I get him back, I notice that it’s not his heart, but his body that finds it difficult to dance. I say to him, “We can still dance, but now it’s just with limitations.” All of us have to learn how to dance with limitations. You will not always be able to do what you use to do. The sooner we accept these limits, the better off we will be. I can see it in his eye and I try not to push too hard, but it’s my desire to want to dance with my boy forever. I can see the record from where I stand and I can tell that it won’t be long before the needle will come to an end. If he leaves the dance floor before I do, somehow I know, that as long as music plays in my head and heart, we will always dance. I may have to settle with that. What brings me so much joy in all of this is knowing that we will never let cancer have the last dance. There is another partner that I can clearly see out the corner of my eye. In position and always in rhythm to take over. I quickly realize that GOD is not in step with us, but through salvation in Jesus Christ, we have found rhythm in him. I know he is there saying to me to get ready. On one of these spins, HE is going to cut in and I will gladly digress. GOD is the better dancer anyway. Plus, I am getting tired. Until then, we will dance on good days and bad, well days and sick, bright and dark days. We can do that because, “A dance is still dance regardless of the record playing.” I am grateful for opportunity GOD Has afforded me to dance myself and dance with my boy.