A figurine of a Disney character may not represent for everyone the perfect college graduation gift. But for me, there was no other choice. The Little Mermaid’s Ariel had to be the gift given to my first-born daughter to commemorate the occasion of her walking across the stage at Miami University to receive a piece of paper that said she was officially, completely, without a doubt, now an adult.
The obvious connection is that it was the first Disney movie that secured my daughter’s passion for Disney princesses, as she watched it over and over and over. For a period of several months she would sing Ariel’s anthem to end in a dramatic finale of the line “…wish I could be….part of that …world” which would see her three-year-old body posed in a position identical to the animated Ariel who was perched on a rock in the sea.
I can see that image in my mind’s eye today, in spite of the woman’s body that has taken the place of the little girl’s.
Still, the main connection I think of while holding the mermaid figure all these years later is the theme of Ariel’s voice in the movie. The little mermaid, of course, traded her voice for the legs necessary to walk in the world where she wanted to go. And that voice is what I think of when I think of my daughter. Yes, the magnificent musicality of her voice is part of what defines her as she now entertains, singing songs beyond Disney sound tracks. But it goes deeper than that.
There is also her voice of compassion that shines through when a friend or even a stranger in a third world country is in need.
There is her voice of reason that has always been wise beyond her years.
There is her voice of change that will travel to Guatemala and places I cannot and probably do not want to imagine, simply for the reason that she might be able to make a difference there.
All these voices are inside one beautiful girl who is today learning to walk on legs that will take her into a whole new world.
But no matter where her voice… or her legs take her, I will always be blessed that she is, indeed, a part of my world.