Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Lifestyles

February 9, 2014

I am reliving my childhood

— — My inner child is happy. There are cartoons playing in the living room. Apple slices and crackers for snacks. The mountain of laundry is washed and folded and the new Tinkerbell curtains match my stepdaughter’s lilac room perfectly. It was a day of childhood play mixed with adult responsibilities. I have been busy being a grown-up lately. But my stepdaughter always corrects this with her cartoons, fairies and rock star guitar. (The guitar has no batteries, thank goodness.) She coaxes the inner child to come out and play. So on a day off from work, we hung curtains and then took turns pretending to be rock stars. With the latest edition of Prerogative magazine at the printers and a new month ahead, I was free to enjoy the day and not worry about a deadline.

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But my inner child is also confused these days. I simply do not understand today’s cartoons. Where are cartoons like the “Smurfs,” “Scooby-doo” and the “Get Along Gang”? It took me a few weeks to figure out the Nick Jr cartoon about an underwater city was about guppies, not gummies. The theme songs for “Bubble Guppies,” along with “Max and Ruby” are catchy. Almost too catchy because I find myself humming the songs the rest of the day. One morning, I did find “Curious George” on PBS. I was thrilled to see a cartoon I recognized from childhood. I am not sure she liked the man in the tall yellow hat though. The older cartoons lack the flashy colors and catchy theme songs of Disney and Nick Jr.

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Growing up, Disney movies were always my favorite. I grew up with Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Years later, when the movies were released on DVD, I bought my favorites. Every now and then, I try to get my stepdaughter to watch “The Little Mermaid” or “Mary Poppins.” But at this point, she still prefers Nick Jr DVDs. I couldn’t even get her to watch “Tangled” so I watched it when I was sick. It was OK. I have yet to find a Disney princess that comes close to Ariel or Belle. It is moments like these that warms my heart. My inner child smiles at the nostagla. I still love princesses, castles and magic. When I was small, I believed in true love, love’s perfect kiss and glass slippers. Of course, as I got older, I realized life wasn’t a fairy tale. I left the idealistic charm of youth and embraced adulthood. That doesn’t mean I have to stop liking a good story. Am I the only female that gets tired of feminist critics slamming fairy tales and princesses? Why is it so wrong to believe in make-believe? When my stepdaughter dresses up in a princess outfit, I tell her she is beautiful. But I also tell her how beautiful she is in her pajamas. One day she won’t want to play dress-up and princesses won’t hold her attention. We have to soak up all the fairy dust now.

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Even though she isn’t a fan of my favorite Disney movies, I still hold out hope. But for now, one movie we both agree on is “Frozen.” We spent the rest of the day looking up “Frozen” games online and watching clips from the movie. Back in December, we went to watch the Disney film, which has earned $864 million in the U.S. I don’t know who liked the movie more — me or the 4-year-old with wide eyes. The DVD comes out next month and you can bet I will be  buy a copy. I don’t know what it is about Disney movies. But they melt my heart. “Frozen,” a story about two princesses, is for kids, but the plot and meaning of the movie can speak to adults. It is full of forgiveness, love and selflessness. Good stuff. My inner child is more than happy these days. It is wide-eyed with wonder and delight.

Jamie Null is the Lifestyle editor of Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Contact her at jnull@bdtonline.com or on Twitter @BDTParsell.

 

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