Imagine how the Rapunzel’s father must have felt when his wife was about to half their first child, how happy he was that they were able to make a little child, and always thinking of that child as a girl, as that was what he had always wanted. Imagine him imagining how they would be able to raise her, and teach her everything she needed to know. Imagine how he must have thought about how she would grow up, and what type of child she would be, and who she might fall in love with, and when she would get married and have children of her own.
Imagine how he must have felt when his wife fell ill, and there was a chance that he might lose them both, and that he might not be able to see that future he had hoped for their child, and that he might have to say goodbye to his wife as well. Imagine him doing his best to keep it together, but failing every time he left the room. And imagine him losing hope, just as they brought in the concoction to save his wife and child.
Imagine the joy he felt when the concoction saved his wife, and she was able to give birth to their little girl, the girl he had always wanted. And they were happy, for a few hours, while they celebrated her birth with the kingdom. And everything was perfect for them, right?
But then, imagine him and his wife being woken in the middle of the night by the sound of their child crying, and the sight of a woman jumping from their balcony, with their child in her hands. Imagine searching with the people of your kingdom, but not being able to find her, and eventually, just having to hope that she would find her way home again soon.
Imagine as the years went by, and as they did the lanterns every year on her birthday, they let off the lanterns, hoping that she would see them, and understand that they were hoping that she was still alive, and each year, that reminder that they hadn’t found her causing him more pain than the previous year. Imagine him giving up hope after eighteen years, and just wanting to call it quits, but trying to keep strong, for his wife’s sake.
And lastly, imagine how he must have felt to have his daughter back. She was grown up, and he hadn’t been able to watch her grow up, but she had still returned. And that was the best thing that he could have hoped for.