Anna, you’re a Frozen Princess I need to apologize to
Saturday, November 1st, 2014
Dear Anna (the other Frozen princess. The one who let herself be killed for Elsa),
I need to apologize to you for something. You see, my youngest daughter hates complete darkness just like many other kids under the age of three do. To help her out, her mother and I decided it would be a good idea to buy her a nightlight. We like light, she likes light, and we all like your movie. So, we bought her a nightlight with your face on it.
I like you. I think you’re smart, I think you’re strong, I think you’re a little bit reckless and I think you put yourself before others. You seemed like the kind of woman I’d like to have brighten my daughter’s room. So one night, as she started crying that it was too dark, we surprised her with the light and she screamed with delight when her room was suddenly lit by one of the princesses from Frozen.
Well, that’s where things got weird.
“Do you like your Anna light?” I asked, knowing from her smile what the answer was.
“It’s Elsa, not Anna,” she argued. But it was definitely you. I looked at it a few times to reassure myself. Yep, there was your red hair and purple cape.
“No, it’s Anna, the one who saved Elsa,” I tried to explain.
But I weakened when she said “well then I don’t want it.”
I should have explained how great you were, I should have stood up for you. I should have talked about the scene with the wolves and the jumping out of the sled and stuff. I should have talked about how you didn’t let your crazy sister deter you from seeking her out even after she hit you in the chest with ice lightning.
But I said “you’re right, it’s Elsa.”
Now every night we go through the same routine.
Step one: I put her in bed and look and read her a story.
Step two: I turn off the light in her room.
Step three: I look at your face on the nightlight. Because it’s so dark in there I have to get real close. I see your smiling face and your “you can’t stop me look.” It hurts to meet your gaze but I do because I know I owe you that.
Step four: I abandon you and ask my daughter “do you want your Elsa light on?”
Step five: She always does. I always turn it on. I always leave the room at that point.
Tonight the guilt got to me. Last night (which just so happened to be Halloween) wasn’t your best night. It was as if every parent and every child turned on their own Elsa nightlight (which really should be an Anna nightlight) when they dressed up in their Elsa dresses. I saw you out there holding a pillowcase a few times, but even then, you were tagging along with an Elsa. Often even an Olaf.
But you were never on your own and that night, and tonight, I still allowed my child to call you Elsa.
I think you’re a stronger person than your sister even with all her wicked magic. I think you made far bigger sacrifices, and to be honest, I’ve recently come to realize that most of the songs I find myself singing at work are the ones with you in it. As much as I like “Let it Go,” I far prefer “Love is an Open Door,” and really like your parts more than Elsa’s in both “For the First Time in Forever,” and “For the First Time in Forever (reprise).”
And I really, really feel bad that I’m promoting this Elsa nightlight lie to a youngest sibling. Ugh, I’m dolling out gut-punches here.
Maybe one day I’ll believe your name more worthy of standing up for. Maybe I’ll give up sleep to stick up for you.
I don’t know if you have kids now, but if you do, you’ll know that’s not likely. I’m a parent to two kids under the age of five. As much as I like a strong-willed Frozen princess, I like sleep a lot more.
So Anna, I’m really sorry.
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