Yesterday, in the midst of the madness around here, I looked over at the couch and saw Cooter, head on the seat, feet up the back of it, reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He has seen the first Harry Potter movie. His older sister has read all of the books. His middle sister has just finished the sixth book. Both of them refuse to give away any of the details in the storyline, no matter how hard he begs or how persistent his questioning is. Me, I’ve forgotten so much, he doesn’t bother asking anymore.
When I asked him what he was doing, he said, “I’m reading the second book. Baba (big sister) said since I’d seen the first movie, I could start with the second book.” He turned back to his book. Upside down and everything.
I struggled with the need to tell him to put the book down and come work on handwriting or math, but this is my child who, up until five months ago, was NOT reading. Ahem. I let him be.
For a while.
Today I saw him reading again. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him flipping pages. Toward the end.
“What are you doing, buddy?” I asked him.
He looked up, grinned that sheepish one tooth grin, and said, “Well, I was just thinking I might see what happens later. You know…..”
*sigh* Yes, I do.
But I am very much against it. Fight the urge, little man.
“Hey, don’t do that, okay? If you do, you are going to spoil what happens at the end. More importantly, you’ll spoil all that happens before that–you will miss the story, bud. The journey. And that’s what makes it. The story of getting there.”
He nodded. Did he get my meaning? Will he quit trying to jump ahead to find out what happens, or will he enjoy the ride as he reads page by page?
I have no idea. As my Daddy often said, “I can want it for him, but I can’t make him do it.”
Years and years ago, at the very beginning of another lifetime, I had gotten a new cassette tape by a new artist–Garth Brooks. I loved most all of the songs on it, but my favorite at one time was “The Dance.” I guess that’s why Cooter wanting to flip to the end of the book to see what happens hit me so hard. The lyrics of that song, written by Tony Arata, are etched on my heart. So many endings that if I’d known about them…..well, I would have missed out. Because I don’t know if I would have thought I could handle the pain.
And now, I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance
So my dear ones, I know there’s always going to be the curiosity and the desire to know how it turns out. What happens to Harry? To Hermione? Is Dumbledore hiding something? Who is Tom Riddle? There are those questions in real life too. How will this homeschooling thing turn out? Am I doing the right thing? Will she graduate and go straight through her post-graduate work? Will truth and good triumph over evil in this battle for what’s right that we are in the midst of? How old do I have to be before Mama will let me get a cell phone? Or go places without texting her I’m there safely? (FYI, never)
All of those questions, the uncertainty, the wondering–it’s all part of the amazing journey and adventure we call life. It’s not always comfortable, but it will always be a part of our life. So best to make peace with it and enjoy the dance.
Because life’s too precious not to.
Love to all.
If you’d like to hear the song, here’s a version by Westlife–a recent favorite group of mine. Because well, you know, there’s nothing of Garth on Youtube or iTunes. Heard a rumor that could be changing. Fingers crossed. Until then, these boys do it justice.
4 thoughts on “Don’t Miss the Dance or Flip to the End”
Thank you for this gentle reminder. YUP. I needed that!
Thank you for reading and sharing the journey. We all need this reminder–totally wrote this for me too. ❤
I was praying for my sister these last couple of days and I could hear this song in the background. I swear it was on. But when I opened my eyes I realized God gave it to me in prayer. I searched fiercely since yesterday to try and understand its meaning but to no avail. And then my last attempt today I find your post. I understand what God was trying to tell me now. Thank you so much. I get it. Don’t worry about the end- like you said, best to make peace with it and enjoy the dance. You have no idea how much comfort this has brought me tonight. Thank you and God bless 🙂
You humble me. Thank you. Bless your heart and all you are going through. Thank you for reading and for taking time to share your story. I hope that in all that is happening, you have a peace that passes all understanding. Keeping you and your sister in my thoughts and prayers. I hope to hear from you again soon. (Sorry for the delayed reply–we had family in town.) Best wishes.