Namine is in three dances for this year’s recital: jazz, tap, and the father-daughter dance. She’ll be dancing in her walker in the tap dance, and in her wheelchair for the other two. Like last year, I will be helping Namine with her walker backstage.
Because I was backstage for the tap dance, and because I was in the father-daughter dance (obviously), I was only able to get a video of Namine’s jazz dance. Unfortunately, another girl gets in the way about halfway through. You can still see Namine dancing her heart out behind her, though.
Even though I was backstage for the tap dance, I still got to watch her from the sidelines. Unlike last year, I knew nothing about which songs she was dancing to, or what her dances consisted of (except the father-daughter one, for obvious reasons). Tonight was my first time seeing both of her classes’ dances, and I could not have been more proud.
There are times in a parent’s life when you wonder if the choices you’ve made on your child’s behalf are in their best interest. One of the biggest questions — at the time, and even now we wonder — was for Namine to have the clubfoot repair surgery twice.
The first time Namine had the clubfoot repair was back in 2010. Rather, she had what we thought was the clubfoot repair. The surgeon, however, performed a different surgery than he was supposed to; as a result, Namine had to have the same procedure done again in 2012. This led to her almost losing her foot.
Jessica and I, honestly, were torn. Do we subject Namine to surgery once again, for the possibility — not the certainty — that she might be able to walk? For that reason, the second time around, we involved her in the decision, as much as she was able.
Still, from time to time we wonder. Did we do the best thing for our daughter? There is no parenting guidebook, despite what bookstores’ self-help sections would have you believe. But there are moments where all doubt is washed away: you know you made the right choice, and your child could never have ended up anywhere but here.
This was such a moment. I watched from the sidelines as Namine stood up in her walker, surrounded by her friends, and danced with such joy and enthusiasm. The smile on her face and the energy in her movements told me the obvious truth. Our decision (yes, all three of us made it together) for Namine to have the second foot surgery was the right one. Without it, this moment — this joy — would never have been hers. And it was hers.