It was cold and windy and wet as we power walked through the parking lot and exterior stairs of the Oracle arena in Oakland. We hadn't planned for weather that bad, so my son didn't have his hat on, which is why we were power walking. He started to shiver before we got into the building.
He kept shivering even after we got inside and it slowly became clear that he wasn't just shivering because it was cold, but because he was overwhelmed. There were a lot of people at Oracle for Disney on Ice and we were hustling past them to get to our seats in time.
Even when he stopped shivering, he still looked overwhelmed. He stared off into the distance, trying to take in the ice rink, the rows and rows of people, the colorful lights. Even the arrival of his aunt and uncle, whom he adores, didn't break the spell.
We sat down as the show started, my son on his mom's lap. He still had that hundred yard stare.
A bunch of athletic, good looking twentysomethings came onto the ice and did a bit about getting exercise and staying hydrated and eating right which was a little tone deaf given that the concession stands sold nothing but hot dogs, popcorn, and nachos.
Finally, the ice skating models declared that they needed some assistance with their dance routine and they called out the big guns: Mouses Mickey and Minnie.
This would be the first time during the show that I got choked up.
I had been watching my son the entire time and when Mickey and Minnie came out onto the ice, his face lit up. He smiled. The apprehension and daze that had overwhelmed him since we left the car was gone. Mickey Mouse was here. Everything was okay.
I have to think most parents would get choked up by that.
There were other moments, like when the toys from Toy Story came out, or when the cars from Cars came out. But the biggest came towards the end, during the Frozen section of the show.
The songs in Frozen have always gotten to me, so it wasn't a big surprise that I would be fighting back tears. But this performance took it to another level.
There were an awful lot of kids at this show and most of them loved Frozen.
So when we got to the big hit, to "Let It Go," they all sang along.
That was almost too much for me.
Did Disney know what they were doing when they created Frozen? Were they aware that they weren't just creating something emotional, but something empowering?
After the show I started thinking about the thousands of fathers of girls out there who had to have been thrown for a loop by Frozen. The sheer tenacity of "Let It Go" requires anyone who sings it to own it. What's the stereotypical father to do? Embrace girl power? *gasp!*
I spend most of my time feeling horrible about the way children are being raised in this world. It was nice, for a brief moment, to feel like perhaps we, as human beings, are doing something right.