Once she was in place she started a slow dance in time to the music. The theatre lights had come up, softly, as they do when the credits are still rolling. One of those lights was directly above where Sadie was dancing. It looked as if a very soft and very loving spotlight had been placed there, with the specific hope that a child would come to dance.
The song was 'Once Upon a Dream,' which was from the original Sleeping Beauty film:
As Sadie dance, Ruby surprised us by starting to sing, knowing the words to the entire song. It would only be later that we found out Ruby had seen the original film so often that she'd come to know the words.
So Joe and I sat and waited as Sadie danced and Ruby sang. It was a simply magical few minutes. A young woman, who had come down the stairs, stopped beside me and listened to Ruby's voice, strong and confident in the lyrics and watched Sadie do her slow rhythmic dance. As it was drawing to a close, and there was a smattering of applause from the audience remaining, she turned to Joe and I and said, "Most parents would have said 'no' to her going down to dance and would have hushed the singing. I didn't know if she was correcting us or simply making an observation. So I said, "Sad, isn't it?"
She said, "Yes, I think so."
I have worked for too many years with too many people for whom the word 'no' was autocratically applied to situations where 'no' was neither necessary nor needed. If I've learned anything it's that 'no means no' but that 'no' can also be a word used to oppress and to suppress. 'No' is where we came from, 'Yes' is where we want to be.
The kids don't know that they came into our lives at exactly the right time. For them. And for us ... because we got to see a lovely song and dance act that we will always remember.