Our daughter’s recent musical debut paid homage to a childhood memory from Disneyland — and the love we have given her.
“She’s gone,” were the shocked words of my wife.
“What do you mean she’s gone?” I said, with an ever-increasing desperate tone. “You were holding her hand a moment ago in the queue for the merry-go-round.”
“Yes, I know,” answered my wife. “We decided we had better come and meet you guys for lunch after the merry-go-round. The next time I checked where she was, she had disappeared in the crowd.”
My heart was racing! What were we going to do?
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman in a blue security uniform. We raced towards her and in unison said: “We’ve lost our seven-year-old daughter. What can we do?”
We were both starting to panic, but the feelings grew worse as she radioed security at the front gate of Anaheim Disneyland to ‘shut the gate’. “Don’t worry,” she said, “we’ve never lost anyone out the gates. We close them as soon as a lost child is reported.”
Although reassuring news, both our minds were racing now. “What if someone had abducted her?”
We were escorted to a tiny security office, somewhere in the bowels of Disneyland with our whole family. There were 50,000 people outside, but where was our daughter?
It was the longest 30 minutes of our lives as we waited for news about her in that cramped security office. Even her four elder brothers, ranging in age from 12-17 years, were starting to get worried. Yes, we prayed. What parent wouldn’t?!
Thankfully they found her.
Our youngest child has always been pretty determined. My wife had promised to take our daughter on the ‘It’s a Small World’ ride and as she didn’t get the memo that lunch was happening instead, she had made her way to the ride on her own.
She waited in line, got onto a small boat on her own and only then realised that her mum was missing. After shedding quite a few tears on finishing the ride, and being noticed by a cleaner, she was escorted to the same security office.
The tears had already dissipated because the staff had given her an ‘Eeyore in a dinosaur suit’, which she still has as a memento. Nevertheless, we were all delighted to be reunited.
Song of Love
Our hearts were also delighted when our daughter released her new album at Kelly’s on Kings in Newtown, Sydney last Thursday. Her mother even got a mention in one of her songs called “Love is too Big”:
Remember when you lost me in Disneyland
In 1999, you forgot to hold my hand
I don’t blame you
This last line of the second verse above was reassuring, but the chorus that followed really lifted our spirits:
I could never be what you are
Got a lot to live up to
I’ll try but I might fall hard
But I’ll try my best not to
I know I could never
Cause your love’s too big.
That last line of the chorus packs an emotional punch. These are the lines we as parents hope our children will say about us when they grow up, in spite of our many failures as parents.
Unfortunately, we all let go of our children’s hands way too often.
Sadly, we do it in a myriad of different ways. Maybe it is when we lose our temper and say words to our children that should never be said. Maybe it’s when we neglect to be the example of love that they need us to be in word and deed.
Our failures as parents are endless — or am I only speaking for myself?
Our daughter, whose stage name is ‘Langside’, played with her band and gave a vibrant performance of the songs from her new album.
Sydney-based electronic-pop artist, Langside, delivers a sound that walks the line of electronic & acoustic production. Combining commanding melody’s and vocal layering, Langside is establishing herself as one to watch and one to listen to.
Pulling inspiration from a childhood filled with performances with her touring musical family, Langside’s vocals show hints of her first loves, Jazz & Blues. She has taken these influences as well as the likes of Vera Blue, Maggie Rogers, Emily King & Leon to create a unique sound that entices listeners to sing along.
The line ‘pulling inspiration from a childhood filled with performances with her touring musical family’, gives the background to the emotion and joy of being at her album release. By the time she was 14 years old, our daughter had 500 performances under her belt in 14 countries around the world. This included radio, TV and studio work, all with her musical family, better known as The Marshes.
The high point of the night was when Langside (our daughter) turned towards my wife and literally sang this Mother’s Day tribute to her in the front row. At the end of the song, they embraced at the front of the stage. It was an incredibly powerful moment.
‘Love covers a multitude of sins.’ Getting lost in Disneyland was now a distant memory.
As parents, we all fail our children in some way, but the important thing, as Dan Smith sings, is to:
Just keep going on,
Just keep going on.
Take every knock as a boost,
every stumbling black as a stepping stone.
Lift up your head and hold your own
Just keep going on
Remember that love is still the most powerful force in the universe. Keep on loving, because you never know, your children might just sing your praises one day.
Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975; they have five children and nine grandchildren, and he and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He is a family and faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker.
Warwick is a leader in the Men’s and Family Movement, and he is well-known in Australia for his advocacy for children, marriage, manhood, family, fatherhood and faith. Warwick is passionate to encourage men to be great fathers and to know the greatest Father of all. The Father in Whom “there is no shadow of turning.”
The Fatherhood Foundation Incorporated trading as Dads4Kids is a Harm Prevention Charity listed under Subdivision 30_EA of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 with Tax Deductible Status (DGR) for donations
Dads4Kids – Building Men. Growing Fathers. Changing Generations.