Long Lunches, Princess Talk And Mama Guilt

My daughter and I have been having long lunches together this summer. We sit for at least an hour and the conversation is always about the same topic, Disney Princesses. She has become quite the expert and once the conversation starts it’s hard to end it. The other day we were discussing the movie Frozen. If you don’t know the storyline (which is hard to believe in this house) it’s about two sisters Elsa and Anna. Elsa has been cursed with ice powers and rather than accepting it her distraught parents keep her locked in their castle hidden away from everyone.

As we were discussing the movie for the gazillionth time Kelsey’s exact words were, “Just because you are born different you don’t lock your kid away.” This is where my mama guilt hits me like a slap across my face. There was one year when Kelsey was little that we hardly left the house. She was having seizures all the time and I had become the “distraught” parent that thought it would be best if we just stayed home. That decision to stay home wasn’t about fear of other people finding out but about my own fear and lack of understanding about my child’s disability. To this day however, that mama guilt gets a hold of me.

Sitting at the kitchen table engulfed by guilt I listen as Kelsey is still going on about the movie. Her statement caught me off guard and made me rethink the movie. She seems to have picked up on the underlying story. Frozen is not just another cute princess movie with catchy songs. It’s a story about a young girl with a “disability” who must learn to control and accept it. In the beginning Elsa doesn’t know how to control her powers and her parents thought it was best to keep her away from everyone. The famous song lyrics let us know that as a child she was told, “Don’t let them in. Don’t let them see. Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal. Don’t let them know.”

At one point in the movie Elsa has an outburst and unleashes her uncontrollable powers in front of the townspeople. She gets scared and bolts far away to the mountains. It’s here that she learns to control her powers. The song goes on, “Let it go! Let it go! And I’ll rise like the break of dawn! Let it go! Let it go! That perfect girl is gone!” Elsa has finally showed the townspeople she is not the perfect person they thought she was. She is free to be herself, powers and all.

I wonder if Elsa’s parents were still alive what they would think of her. No longer is she that child with the uncontrollable outbursts. She has learned to control her own actions and rise above her own “disability”. I wonder if they would feel guilty about how they dealt with some things in the past.

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