As I sat in the movie theater with my daughter, who’s about to turn 6, on one side of me and my son, who’s almost 4, on the other side; I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was watching Frozen 2, the much-anticipated sequel of Frozen, the tale of two sisters who overcame insurmountable obstacles with the message that love truly can conquer all.
With the second feature film, the tale continues, but this time in a way that strikes me as a mother. In fact, as I sit there with quiet tears streaming down my face, all I can think of is myself and my mother. My father made an appearance, too, but in the background.
I do not wish to spoil the film for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it, but the part of the movie when Elsa reaches the pinnacle of her journey, she finds herself surrounded in a frozen orb of memories.
As a young girl growing up, she battles parts of herself that are conflicted. The fact that she has magical ice powers was seen to be shameful until she learned how to control them in a way that could be used for good. All around her are memories that are painful, yet beautiful, because they have shaped her for who she is now; preparing her for a journey that was meant to be her destiny.
There, awaiting her, is her mother. Singing in an intensely powerful duet that only Disney can create – both Elsa and her mother sing Show Yourself and her mother proclaims “Come my darling, homeward bound” and Elsa replies “I am found!”
It’s a funny thing, being a mother. I personally never thought I would be one. At least not a good one. But here I am, sandwiched between these two beautiful creatures that I helped bring on this planet. The irony being that they think I am the greatest thing ever. And you know what? I am a pretty good mom.
Granted, I battle “mom guilt” every single day. The thought of not spending enough time with them; not enough quality time; not participating in every school function; not feeding them all-organic foods; working too much at my full-time jobs and all my side jobs….the list goes on and on.
But they love me. And I love them, unconditionally. Every night they go to bed in a cozy, warm bed with full bellies and tucked in by parents who would give anything to make sure they know they are loved.
I think about my mom and how she did the same for me. She took great care to make sure my sister and I grew up with childhoods that were far from the dysfunction that she grew up in. Every night we were safe in our warm beds with full bellies with parents who loved us.
And then my father left us all. I was 17. My sister was 13.
Suddenly, everything as we knew was gone and we had to create another life for ourselves. No one knew how to do that, but we meandered our way around it as best we could.
And by meandering our way, it meant that we all made errors in judgement. I spent the next decade trying to be an adult that really didn’t know how to be one. I made stupid financial decisions; walked in and out of relationships without caring how it affected the people around me; and moved all around the U.S. roaming for a place to call home.
How it must have been as a mother to watch this unfold. To watch me find myself. It didn’t hit me until I sat there watching a Disney princess sing about going “Into the Unknown.”
At 30 years old, I made a decision to step away from practicing a faith/religion that generations of my family had been apart of. I decided to become my own person and live my life the way I had always wanted to; not answering to an organized religion. It was a very difficult decision; so much so that it has conflicted me every year since.
But as I sat there, watching Frozen 2, watching Elsa, the beautiful Ice Princess, now Queen; take ownership of who she is – showing herself in her truest form, truest colors; it hit me that her mother was just there waiting with open arms.
Mothers are home.
No matter what kind of choices or decisions we make, we expect mothers to be there.
It’s interesting, because now as a mother myself with little ones I think about the choices they will make. How difficult it may be for me to accept them.
What if my daughter comes to me one day and she tells me that doesn’t want to have children of her own? What if my son comes to me and tells me that he’s attracted to other men? What if my daughter tells me she wants to move to India? What if my son becomes a drug addict? What if my daughter is involved in an abusive relationship?
And granted, while some of the “what ifs” detours we think about our children finding themselves on their road of life are far-fetched. But I think as a mom, my job is to always be there, welcoming them with open arms.
I’m not saying that I would agree with their choices, decisions, or paths. A mistake is a mistake and consequences will come, but when it comes to showing yourself and showing your true colors – your mother is the ONE person who should always be there to say “My Darling, Homeward Bound.”
It’s a huge obligation and responsibility, but at the same time it is a huge and precious privilege. My children love me and I love them. My love will probably always exceed their love for me; I know this because as a daughter I have uttered the horrible “I hate you” to my own mother and she has never said anything like this to me. She has stood by and watched me fall many times. She has taken every choice I’ve ever made in stride, but at the end of the day, she always loves me.
Disney really knows what they are doing. The father wasn’t the one at the end of the journey. Yes, he was there in memories, but the mother was the one who was waiting there, encouraging her daughter to show herself; be true to herself; for this is what she had been waiting for all of her life. She was HOME.
I remember my mother telling me that one day my life would come full-circle. That I would be a mother with beautiful children and married to the love of my life; someone who would love me for everything she knew me to be.
I never believed her; until now…as I sit in a luxury recliner in a movie theater in Mississippi, holding my two children close to me as we watch Frozen 2 together.
She may be miles away from us, but I can honestly say that she is HOME to me. And I know it’s my job and my privilege to be the same for my children as I encourage them to “Show Yourself” and be the person they were created to be.
Have you seen Frozen 2? What are your thoughts on the film?
Brandi’ Starbuck, a former Columbia Mom contributor, is a recent transplant to the Mississippi. She is a mom to a spirited six-year-old (who looks exactly like her daddy, but acts just like mama) and a busy three-year-old boy. Brandi’ juggles working full-time, outside the home, keeping the kids entertained, and occasionally enjoying a date night with her handsome hubby! Lover of shoes, social media resale shops, and all Pinterest recipe boards, you can expect to see the Starbuck family with a cliché and loved cup of Starbucks coffee in their hands, wearing matching tees purchased from a mom-owned Instagram shop.