You may have begun to wonder if my life revolves around my children. The resounding answer is "Yes!" and I am not ashamed of that. I wanted them, I will only have them for a season, and after that I will wonder where the time went and perhaps regret the things I didn't do with them and for them.
As for today, I am proud of the young women they are becoming. They were fitted for their first pairs of pointe shoes recently. This is a huge milestone in the life of a serious dancer. They have put them on every evening since the ballet mistress approved them, lovingly wrapping the satin ribbons up their calves and tucking the ends.
In anticipation of this event, their daddy converted a bedroom into a dance studio. On pads of high density foam floats a sturdy framework of 2x4's. Counter-sunk screws secure the most expensive sheets of finished plywood we could find. Several coats of polyurethane were applied to the floor, giving it a satiny finish.
The barres and mirror will be added when the bank account is replenished. We agreed on a solid mirror so that there are no seams to peer around - 6' x 8' ought to do it. I don't even want to think about what that will cost...
You know what? It doesn't matter. Every penny, every mile, every moment expended on this 8-year journey has been worth it. No matter what these girls end up choosing as a career, the benefits of dance will serve them. They don't watch a lot of television, they don't sit around playing video games. They know how to act in public. They understand hard work and commitment. They dance.
Something that will serve an even greater purpose in their lives is their love of God and their acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. My daughters made their confession of faith and were baptized in a service of immersion on November 9, 2008 at Trinity Christian Church in Fort Worth. This happens to be the same church in which their daddy received Jesus into his heart in 1991.
I can't describe the feelings I experienced as I watched them enter the water and emerge as new people. As a parent, you know that you have certain uncompromisable duties - food, shelter, safety, education. Some parents do better than others in providing these. But faith is often overlooked, even by professing Christians. If I do nothing more as a parent, I believe I will have given my children the greatest gift possible by modeling love and tolerance and servitude according to God's will.
I know that my work is not done. I still have to get them graduated and off to college. But the foundation for a meaningful life has been laid. And I thank the Lord for allowing me to have a part in the process.