My Princess at the Ball

The song, “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman always tugs at my heartstrings (at a minimum) or makes me break down and bawl like a baby (more often than not). I’ve been blessed with many opportunities to live out this song, being the dad of two daughters that I am.
As the story goes, the girl asks her father to dance with her: “Dad, I need you / There’s a ball at the castle / And I’ve been invited / And I need to practice my dancing / Oh, please, Daddy, please.” And dad responds with: “So I will dance with Cinderella / While she is here in my arms / ‘Cause I know something the prince never knew / Oh, I will dance with Cinderella / I don’t wanna miss even one song / ‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight / And she’ll be gone.”
Whew! I can hardly even read the words without starting to cry. This past Friday offered me my latest chance to dance with Cinderella; I was able to join one of my girls at the “Dad-Daughter Dance” at her school. She was a princess at the ball and, at least for one night, I was her prince. I love that she’s still here in my arms, and I dread that all too soon the clock will strike midnight. I understand, unfortunately, how quickly the time goes by, since my son is already completing his second year of college in Arizona. Just yesterday, he was a little boy asking me to play catch and teach him how to ride his bike.
My experience only confirms what God’s Word has always taught: “Lord, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow” (Psalm 144:3-4). God also reminds me that “My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass” (Psalm 102:11). Nowhere is the fleeting nature of life more evident than when I try to watch my kids grow up, and then I blink, and then I see them as young adults in what took only a moment in my mind.
So, I’ll dance with Cinderella every chance I get, because the next time I blink, I’ll open my eyes to watch my girl dance with her husband on her wedding day. I don’t even want to think about that right now, so I’ll hold my girl tight and hope it lasts longer than I know it will.
Troy Burns