Growing up, my little girl version was offered surprise and wonder by a lot of fairy tales. How help suddenly pops up for princesses when needed and how messy situations turn out to be enchanting left me in awe. The whimsical stories, I realized, led me to find magic in my own life.
I am under no delusion. The only thing the popular princesses and I have in common is the presence of loving fathers in our lives. This is something I have observed through the years. Their love is enough to fuel us to dream big and survive any hardship, pain, or strife.
Remember The Little Mermaid’s Ariel and King Triton, Aladdin’s Jasmine and the Sultan, and Beauty and the Beast’s Belle and Maurice? These three take up the top spots in my fairy tale daddy-and-daughter list. They are a reminder that there is no need to rub a lamp nor wave a magic wand. The magic of a father’s love can be experienced firsthand.
Let me recount the times.
King Triton and Ariel
Tough love was what it took for the little mermaid to change her ways. While her obsession to become a full human drove Ariel to leave home and face challenges, she had a father to run back to and experience mercy and grace after realizing her mistakes. Love softens even the disciplinarian’s heart.
Jasmine and the Sultan
At their core, parents naturally look out for their child’s happiness despite societal pressures. How the Sultan bent his rules and changed the law so Jasmine can end up with a commoner is proof that love is considerate and inclusive.
Belle and Maurice
The brilliant yet misunderstood Maurice shows us that all it takes is love to raise a kind, intelligent, and strong-willed daughter. He embraced Belle for who she is, that she was able to love herself and remain confident in the midst of everyone’s judgments. Love empowers.
While a sparkly tiara or a magic carpet ride is nice to have, these would never be enough to trade for a father’s transformative kind of love.
Happy Father’s Day to my Papa and other fathers out there!
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