Let the Tears Fall

Crying unashamedly in a kids’ movie

Matthew Woodall
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readNov 9


Photo by Benjamin Jopen on Unsplash

Last weekend, I went to visit my daughter who has been living with her mother halfway across the continent for over a year — a living arrangement that was not my choice, but one which I’ve learned to reluctantly live with. When planning things to do while I was there, my daughter asked to go see The Paw Patrol movie — wouldn’t have been MY first choice, but this weekend wasn’t about me.

So, we went and watched the same set of cartoon puppies we’ve watched together for years, only this time in a darkened theatre instead of our living room.

This was already an emotional weekend — you see I left her mother about 18 months ago and things have been… rough. Spending any time together in person requires one of us flying halfway across the continent — this time it was me doing the flying. Every second of travel was worth it though, as this will be the last time I see her for about 5 months.

These trips are always a little emotional for me. I love and cherish every minute I get to spend with her — I always have.

The best birthday I’ve ever had was spent in a rocking chair with her as a 6-month old, just the two of us sharing a quiet night together.

This isn’t how I envisioned our relationship — confined to twice-weekly calls and the occasional dedicated time together. I miss our time together more than words can say. So I was already a little emotional going into this weekend, but I never expected Marshall, Rubble, Chase, Rocky, Zuma, Skye, Liberty (who was new to me), and Ryder to be what made me cry.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Paw Patrol had always been “our” thing — well, one of them at least. I’d been a firefighter for several years when she was born, and when we discovered Paw Patrol on Netflix, it seemed to be a way to introduce her to that part of my life. While I’m no longer a firefighter, we still share those memories of cuddling up on the couch and watching the adventures of the pups from Adventure Bay.