Marlin from Finding Nemo is my second entry into the Daddy Hall of Fame for demonstrating strength and courage in the face of perhaps a parent's worst nightmare - a lost child.
Having temporarily lost a kid from time to time, I have been briefly aquainted with the sheer panic that some parents have to deal with on a much larger and longer scale. Most recently I was at the public swimming pool with my girls and my wife when we lost our precious Noli. I had thought she had left the change-room with my wife and my wife thought she left the room with me. As it turns out she left on her own and then waited outside the swimming pool on a very busy street. I can only assume that she thought someone would be picking her up eventually or that she went outside to hail a taxi. Either way she scared the bejesus out of our whole family. Luckily we all ended up together and now it's just another funny story about how one kid's adventure made her parents go temporarily insane.
I like Nemo because it is a good lesson in bravery. I like to tell my girls that being brave does not mean that you are never afraid - rather it means that regardless of the fear you feel, you still do that which you know you should. You take care of business though you be quakin' in your boots. Marlin does just that. He moves out of his comfort zone and though is illusion of control over his domain is shattered, he takes a breath, lets go of all his inhibitions and discovers that he and his son are capable of much more than he could imagine.
We could all use a little bit of that courage every now and then - the kind that enables us and our kids to push past our self-imposed limitations. The kind that draws a family closer together even in the midst of the toughest trials and tribulations.