More than twenty years later, I’m still learning about how the death of my father at an early age has shaped me. For one, it has made me intent on raising strong, independent daughters.
We watched our tiny, not quite graceful ballerinas twirl around the dance floor while dramatically mouthing the words to a Moana song. Their faces were strong and determined, as if they were heroic wayfarers dancing across the sea. In my head, I also sang along and was pretty sure all of the other moms watching through the glass were too. “This song is going to be stuck in my head for days,” I grumbled, not nearly as broken up about it as I sounded.
We laughed, launching into a conversation about all of the kids’ movie soundtracks we know by heart. The subject of Frozen, one of my favorites for so many reasons came up and another mom was lukewarm. “I don’t know,” she said. “I have a hard time with Frozen. I’m all for girl power but, to me, it’s not a real fairy tale because there’s no prince. Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I want my daughter to believe in true love.”
I had an immediate visceral reaction, but stayed quiet, nodding as she explained her point of view. I respected her opinion and the place it was coming from, but I completely disagreed. Finding no words to explain why, I remained silent. All I knew was that I felt very strongly about the fact that I did not want handsome princes shoved down my daughters’ throats.
I’ve always considered myself a swoony romantic. I grew up on a steady diet of romantic comedies, weddings always make me cry, and love stories make me feel warm and fuzzy and electric inside.