Amy Noel Green
This Father Daughter Dance During The Credits of Star Wars Will Melt Your Heart
Updated: Jan 6, 2020
We have an "artistic" family. A label I use, which simply means our home is never tidy, bedtimes are a loose concept, but music, dance, drawing, and general merriment is celebrated even in odd moments.
When you're a child, whatever your family does feels normal. Your family is your known world, so you never stop to question whether some other family might exist somewhere in the world with totally different values. Until, one day, you spend the night at a friend's house, and they make their bed when they wake up, and you're left wondering if this is some new form of blanket origami you haven't discovered in YouTube DIY videos yet.
My five-year-old daughter's known world is this: When a movie ends, you race up to the front of the theater and dance your heart out through the entire credits. My poor daughter has inherited my dysfunctional coordination due to a body built more for reading and thinking than bending and leaping. But despite her lack of ability, she has never stopped to ask herself whether all people should be allowed to dance in public or just the ones who have some apparent skill to display.
Since Zoe is only 5, the list of movies she has "danced it out" through the credits of included mostly animated, family-friendly movies. It almost feels appropriate for a little girl to twirl and leap in front of the screen at the end of Frozen 2, but last night, we saw Star Wars. Zoe's dramatic dancing to the epic music during the end credits was amusing enough for me to get up out of my comfortable lounge chair with heated cushions and film her. (It felt like a memory that I should capture because 5 is teetering dangerously close to the edge of the realization that not everyone thinks dancing at the end of a movie is fantastic. )
At some point, my daughter spotted me filming her and asked me to dance with her. I love dance, and I adore Zoe. But I will turn 39 later this year. It has been several decades since my known world has not included my imagined judgments of the people around me. I have joined and quit many dance classes through the years because my heart is graceful but my body is clumsy.
"I'm sorry Zoe, I don't feel great, why don't you see if Isaac will dance with you?" It wasn't a lie. I was recovering from a cold. Isaac, her 12-year-old brother, shook his head with a look that shouted,
Please don't make me, Mom!
So, Zoe pranced up to her father and asked him to dance. And God bless that 315 pound giant of a man, who has never cared one bit what other people thought of him. He joined her, and they danced improvisationally through The Imperial March as the credits played.
God calls Himself our father. It's a problematic metaphor for many people. But when I watch the way my husband fathers our kids, I think to myself,
I hope this is what God meant when He called himself a Father.
I hope God was trying to point to the fact that He will gladly join us in our dance, whether or not we are embarrassing ourselves. He will lift us up and twirl us around, showing us off with unmerited pride until we begin to look like the beautiful dancers we've always imagined we could become in our fever dreams of auditioning for America's Got Talent.
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Amy Noel Green is a Ted Speaker, author, and video game designer. She received international press attention for her work on the video game "That Dragon, Cancer." The video games tells the story of her son Joel who died from cancer at the age of five.
She is the author of the upcoming book, "Dear God, How Could You?" (When Joel died of cancer after years of miracles, Amy questioned God. She shouted her betrayed, angry questions at the God she no longer understood. She buried many miracles with Joel. She buried her relationship with God too, but God’s love for her refused to stay in the grave.) Subscribe for updates on the bottom of her about page, to be notified when her book is published.