Last night we took the girls to watch Disney’s new animation release, Frozen. It was Sam’s request — as part of her “I just turned 5” endless celebration. So even if it was a school night, we decided we’d go ahead with it. Anyway, we were all pretty excited to see it too. The girls have been watching the trailer on TV, and I remember watching a version of the story of the Snow Queen growing up. There’s a clear imprint in my memory of a girl having to go to the snow queen to save her friend and melt the cold with her tears or something like that. But knowing Disney, they always do wonderful surprising things and twists with old tales and I was very curious to see what they did with this one.
When the critics say it’s “loosely adapted” from Hans Christian Andersen, I’d have to agree. Apart from the use of a “snow queen”, everything else is pretty different. And as it has been in the past with other Disney adaptations, I actually do like this one better. 🙂
Frozen is a tale of the love between two sisters. And maybe it’s because of everything that’s been going lately, or maybe it’s because I’m a mother with two girls close together in age… or maybe it’s because Sam is 5 (I always always cry around her birthday! No fail so far!) — I got all emotional about the movie and it struck several chords. I teared up more than a few times.
Some of the scenes and parts of the story aren’t really for younger kids (Jamie freaked out a couple of times), but as a parent (of two girls) watching it, I found it to be very modern and relevant. And it helped that there were a lot of original songs and scores, all very well done. In fact Jamie left the theatre singing parts of Queen Elsa’s song, Let it Go. It’s a beautiful song, and very well sung too. 🙂
But more than that were some of the insights I took away from the movie. From parents’ choices and motives, to allowing the child to find and develop their own talents and skills, all the way down to the bond that sisters share, a lot of it hit home for me. Especially now that Sam is five.
They say that at 5, the child begins to want more independence from the parents and starts to form their own individuality. Even before last week, I’ve begun to feel this already with Sam. Hopefully in the last four years, I’ve helped her develop her own voice and her own opinion over things. Sometimes I think I allowed it too much because I feel she contradicts me and opposes me at every turn. I know this is normal and it’s to be encouraged but it is also a challenge. Nonetheless I (we) constantly strive to give Sam the stimulants she needs for her body and mind to develop at a pace comfortable for her (and us).
Half the time, I still don’t know what I’m doing. I’m guessing this is the correct thing to say and do, or I’m hoping that isn’t too much to expect. After five years, I’m still navigating my way through it all. And now I understand why the eldest children are the way we are: we’re often our own parenting experiments. It’s just the way it is. So the bond and the explanations are important.
I’ve noticed Sam likes to conform. I don’t know if it’s her personality or a lack of confidence because she hangs out with kids that are often older than her, but she will adapt and follow their lead, good or bad. Maybe she’s also experimenting to see and test her footing, but I often encourage her to be and do what she thinks is best for her, even if it’s different from everyone else. I just want her to be her own person. And I can only hope that she understands I’m with her all the way through it.
But more than all of that, for me what’s most important is Sam’s relationship with Jamie. And I can see, despite the daily bickering and whining or fighting over toys, the girls do love each other. Sam is a great big sister. She sets a wonderful example to Jamie and takes care of her and thinks of her often. When we’re out and getting treats, she always asks for an extra one to give to her sister. It’s very endearing; and you can tell Sam genuinely does it because she thinks of Jamie. I always tell Sam to take care of Jamie, as much as Jamie should take care of her. I believe that above all else, that should prevail.
I think: if anything happened to me and to my husband (knock on wood!), or when we’re gone, the girls will really only have each other. The bond that they share now will be the glue to hold them together in the years to come, throughout everything that they go through. Sam seems to understand that too and keeps a watchful eye out for her sister. She makes Jamie comfortable like no other person can. It gives me a fuzzy warm feeling inside. They bring tears to my eyes, watching them together. If there’s anything that these last five years have taught me, it’s that children need their siblings just as much (or even more) than they do their parents. And I’m lucky I have two girls who (I hope and pray!) will always be the best of friends forever. 🙂