My 5 year old, Emmy, loves Rapunzel. The movie Tangled is her absolute favorite. She's been obsessing about her October birthday with a lot of chatter surrounding her costume for Halloween and which new Rapunzel dress she wants to buy from the Disney store. She knows her stuff.
That's why I knew she had thought very carefully about this proposal she made me last night: "Mommy! For Halloween, you should be Mother Gothel! You would be a great Mother Gothel!"
With trepidation I invited her to tell me more about her great idea...
"Because, when you're mad, you look like her and you're just like her!"
Remember, she's very excited about this. Not at all trying to insult me, just trying to find the perfect Halloween costume. Bless her little heart.
But I'm a little horrified. Just a little. And sad that my daughter thought I could easily impersonate the evil villain-mother in her favorite Disney movie.
I tried to be really excited about her wonderful plan, but inside I was a a little upset. Obviously.
I went through a process of anger, then defensiveness, then acceptance. Of course I'm Mother Gothel. She's the only present mother in that whole film. Its mother Gothel who's in the thick of it! She may only keep Rapunzel around for her youth-inducing locks, but Rapunzel is not hurting for anything that I can tell. She has art supplies, baking ingredients, pretty dresses, and who is buying all the hair brushes and de-tangling hair products?? Mother Gothel, that's who.
So lets look at this realistically. Aside from having very selfish motives, are Mother's reactions really all that terrible?
I would probably get mad too if my daughter ran away with a guy she just met.
I would probably have an annoyed expression if my daughter asked me the same question over and over again, expecting that I would have changed my mind after saying "no" a zillion times.
I would also be reduced to a shriveled, writhing heap if my daughter chopped off all her beautiful long hair.
Just kidding on that last one. But it wouldn't be the best day ever.
So really, what mom hasn't at one point or another felt a little like Mother Gothel? Having those reactions doesn't make us the villain, it makes us the mom. I know we'd like to think we will always be calm and in control and would never behave like a Disney villain, but chances are, if you're a parent, you will find your limits tested. You will find that some days you're identifying with the villain, and sometimes with the loving, beautiful queen with a generous soul and a kind heart.
This week I may remind my sweet Emmy of Mother Gothel; but next week I'm betting I swing around to Fairy Godmother status.