He asked for the song again and again until I tapped the repeat song option, winding down the canyon with quiet words fumbling as he tried to sing along, each rendition louder and more sure.
I bought the song after watching him run to catch the commercial, watching him enraptured by the “ice queen” as hew called it on Youtube, after his beaming reaction to when we watched it in the theater, him hopping from his seat to my mom’s lap and back again, Lil’ Wonder asleep in my arms for most of the movie.
I tried asking him several times what it was he liked about the song, choosing the questions carefully to string out his short and unintentionally vague answers he gives every time I hope for a deeply thought response.
Why does he like the song? Because it makes him happy, because when he isn’t singing it, he feels sad. (A little dramatic of an answer, but whatever.)
What do you like about the song?
The part where it says let it go, let it go, he said very matter-of-factly.
That part, of course, is the easiest part to remember, much like the oh oh oh oh oooooh in Britney Spears Till the World Ends, the section of chorus mastered about a year ago sung absentmindedly while kicking to the beat.
But after a dozen rounds on the way to a playdate and another few on the way home I contemplated what else he could be feeling.
What is he letting go?
Is he imagining a chill on his hands as he builds his own castles of ice? Magical and sparkling like his daydreams and playtime imagination?
Is it because he spends his days as a four-year-old being told to brush his hair, brush his teeth and no no no as he navigates the day full of baby brother, toys and consequences getting frustrated and imagining a world where he runs the show?
Is he absorbing the words and unintentionally soaking in the lesson that he has unlimited potential if he allows himself to be who he was meant to be instead of how others dictate- a lesson that I still am working on.
Or is it really because he just thinks its a good song?
He was raised on Disney princess movies, though as he got old enough to demand Cars over and over and over they got passed by for Cars, Toy Story, Chuck and Friends and all of the other boy stuff he adores.
Lately, we had a discussion when I brought Sleepy Beauty on deck, myself worn out after a boy day and lured him in with a dragon which finally appeared at the end because ‘that’s the most dangerous part’ I said.
Do princess story lines work for little boys? Sure. Mine saw dancing animals and adventure, happy endings and nice people being rewarded at the end.
In Frozen, he saw how happy she was to be able to make her ice castle, happy to be herself, He saw sisterly love and how hard they wanted each other to be happy. He saw Anna’s desolation at constant rejection and her duty to her sister first as she ran off to save her.
Family first is a strong feeling in our little world, and we are tight knit because of it. He has helped with his brother from when he was little, stepping up when I ask him to ‘watch his brother’ while I run upstairs for a wash, letting him play with all of his big-boy toys no matter how much drool goes on them.
Frozen is, I hope, a step going in the right direction. Where the classic princess storyline containing a prince is laid to rest and adventures with girls takes the lead.
And one where, instead of someone being saved- someone finding themself, becoming the heroine and literally taking their gloves off and making their own magic, doing the rescuing themself.
Something my son can look up to as he fantasizes his own castles forming in the air.
And whatever he lets go, I know he will grab onto something better.