Last weekend when we spoke on the phone, you mentioned the struggle of figuring out what being a "Dad" is going to look like.
I have no doubt that you'll be a wonderful father, and Celeste will be a great Mom... the two of you are loving, compassionate, caring, and smart, that said, I also know that you're about to embark on the wonderful and frightening journey of parenthood.
This morning someone posted this simple little video to Metafilter, and, as I watched it, I could easily picture YOU singing a song from Little Mermaid.
From this point forward, your preparation for being a father consists of getting ready to learn the lyrics to every princess song ever made by Disney . Feel free to throw in a few songs by the Dead Kennedys or Michael Jackson, and anything from the soundtrack of Watchmen (but please show her the PG 13 version...there IS a PG 13 version, right?). After all, I made you listen to Coen and Dylan and that worked out OK.
It really is as simple as being always present, and lovingly learning the lyrics to the songs she's going to want to hear YOU sing over and over. Being willing to do this is a good indicator that a man has what it takes to be a fantastic father.
Relax and let this happen, all will be fine..
That song, as presented in the movie, is a female's longing for a deeply satisfying life achieved by getting out there into the wider world. There's a very similar song in "Beauty and the Beast," another Disney movie of the same period, in which the central female character sets up her narrative arc by singing about her need to get away from all the tedious people in her "provincial town." This is an American pop culture template that applies to women. These cartoon females supposedly inspire the female dream to have it all. The Little Mermaid's song begins with the observation that she pretty much looks like "the girl who has everything." But she wants more, more, more. (Song cue.)
But men? Our culture doesn't want you saying such things anymore. There was a time when Marlon Brando and James Dean were icons, and they seemed to be all about rejection of this humdrum life in your sad little town. But they have been swallowed up into the past. In the American pop culture of today, the admirable man cannot seriously express such longings and expect love and admiration. It can only be a joke, comic dissonance with the reality of the good man's life, scrambling eggs at the kitchen table with his adorable little girl (who is, herself, permitted to internalize the female dream of getting out of this dreary, constricting place to get what she deserves — the bigger, brighter, better life).
also, if the little mermaid were a person, it's been legally drinking for 2 years now. sigh.
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