Walt and Lillian Disney tried very hard to keep their daughters unaware of their daddy’s fame. Few studio people were invited to the house and they never talked about the studio in front of the girls. They wanted a normal life for them. One day, after an afternoon party, little Diane came home, threw herself into her father’s arms, embraced him and asked “Father, are you THE Walt Disney?”
I can imagine that being the daughter of someone so well-known must have been such a feeling of pride. I have to say that I felt the same way about my father, although he was not well-known, famous or the creator of the happiest place on earth.
Boys have special relationships with their fathers. They play ball together, go fishing and hunting and they learn about life and becoming a good man. To a little girl, though, her daddy is the most important man in the world. “Daddy’s little girl” is a phrase you hear pretty often, but you have to look deep into the meaning. To a little girl, Daddy is the strongest man in the world; he can do anything, just like a super hero; he is her protector, her knight in shining armor; he is the person she strives to please; he sees the princess inside her; he is fun to be with and the best person with whom to share an ice cream sundae; he is her hero, and the only person alive who can truly scare all the monsters away.
Walt Disney’s daughters didn’t see him in our eyes. Sharon said, “We weren’t raised with the idea that this is a great man who is doing things that no one else had ever done. He was Daddy. He was a man who went to work every morning and came home every night.”
Diane has often said that, no matter how busy Walt was, he never missed a father-daughter event. She would try to discount something and say it wasn’t important and he didn’t have to come; but he would be there, right on time.
Father’s Day is coming in just a few weeks. My sisters and I were blessed to have our father until well into our adulthood. Tragically, we lost our daddy to the same horrible disease that took Diane’s and Sharon’s daddy. The greatest thing in the world is that memories can never be taken away. Running the filmstrips in our minds is the saving grace for daddy’s little girls.
To all you fathers out there, I hope this Father’s Day is your very best one yet. You deserve all the praise and recognition you can get. The best way I can think to celebrate is to grab up the kids and head to Walt Disney World for a much-needed vacation.:)
Here’s an early wish for a Happy Father’s Day!
- Wednesday with Walt: Poor Henpecked Father (chipandco.com)
- Wednesday with Walt: Sunny-Side Up (chipandco.com)