Flying Blind

But flying all the same

Tag: connection

Why I Loved Frozen

I heard and read several reviews of this movie before watching it.  I was fully prepared to watch a pop culture propaganda flick eroding traditional gender roles and pushing a homosexual agenda.

I don’t know what movie the critics watched to come up with the ideas above, but I saw none of that in Frozen.

***    Spoiler Alert   ***

I heard that the male characters in the movie were morons and the only purpose they served was to show how inept men are compared to women.  What I saw was a woman trying to rebuild a relationship with a sister.  I saw a woman attempting to climb an ice covered mountain with great ambition and terrifically little skill.  I saw this heroine embark upon a journey ill prepared and rescued time and time again by a man.  How is this a slight to the masculine world?

I try to communicate to my daughters and model to them through my relationship with my wife that they will need a rescuer.  That they will need a man in their lives to encourage them, protect them, and rescue them.  I have watched more chick flicks and princess movies than I can count, waiting each time for there to be a healthy representation of a male female relationship.  I am left disappointed every single time.  Either the guy is a worthless, spineless, brainless clown, the woman a bimbo, weak, dumb, clutsy, or an ugly man hating she beast that consumes men  until the right fella happens to get through to her.  This movie depicted a woman being independent, brave, forward thinking (even if unprepared), proactive, and bold.  It showed a man who was fully committed to his adventure, his calling, who was willing to stretch himself to love a woman.  I would be very happy to have my daughters look up to Anna.  I would be just as happy for my son to look up to Christoph.

And before I get any criticism about my thoughts regarding the way Anna demonstrated her independence, boldness, and proactive way of living, I would like to turn to a little phrase from the Bible…

“…She considers a field and buys it…”

I see that character in Anna.

I saw no homosexual agenda at all.  I read several critics who said that Disney made a movie in which the two main characters save the day, without the aid of men, and set the kingdom free because of their love for each other and, because these characters were women, it is a homosexual propaganda film.

That really saddens me.  The theme of this movie was a woman’s frozen, broken heart caused by a wound inflicted by family who meant well but acted in ignorance and was set free by the selfless love of her sister.  This movie is actually quite deep.  It does not appear to me as though there are 2 heroines, but 1.  Anna saved Elsa, Elsa reconciled and redeemed the broken relationships in her life caused by her reaction to her brokenness.   It just so happens that that redemption and reconciliation extended to the entire kingdom.  There is nothing homosexual in the genuine, deep, intimate love of a sister for a sister.  I have seen that between my wife and her sisters.  I see it developing now between my daughters.  This is a very good and healthy thing.  Ironic as it may be, this kind of affirming love between women seems to give them the courage to take a stand on the things they want to stand for and to engage life fully in the areas they feel the desire to engage…  And that is exactly what I saw Anna doing.

I rolled my eyes when, near the very beginning of the movie, after the character development was mostly complete and the plot was beginning to get underway, I heard the phrase, “the one.”  Standard Disney romance language.  I do not believe there is “the one” out there and that a single man and a single woman need to find that one in order to be truly happy.  That should be a post I write later.  I was so refreshed when “the one” turned out to be a slug of a fella.  I was actually kind of pumped!!  There is not “the one” in this movie.  What there is is a man who meets a woman under less than ideal circumstances, is not romantically interested in her, chooses to do the right thing and serve her for her protection and guidance, and in the end he develops a love for her.  I see a woman who meets a man in less than ideal circumstances, recognizes she needs him, pokes him in the ribs and challenges him to stand up like a man, and then submits to his guidance and develops a love for him.  I see a man and woman struggling to figure out how to interact in this relationship which results in heartache, fear of loss, and being dragged behind a sled while being chased by wolves.  An actually astute summation of what I would say is a healthy relationship.

Anna is in need of an act of true love.  Go figure a bunch of rock trolls come up with the idea that this will be a kiss from “the one.”  I don’t know if Disney thought this through or not, I doubt it, but it fits that a bunch of trolls came up with this idea.  Not just a bunch of trolls, but a bunch of rock trolls, like trolls that are as dumb as a box of rocks!!  I kept thinking throughout the movie that there were acts of love which could have solved her problem.  The weather is cold, there is a raging storm and Christoph takes off his hat, puts it on Anna to keep her warm, and endures the rest of the ride bare headed.  That silly little snowman (my oldest daughter LOVED him) risked his very life next to a fire to warm Anna.

But the act of true love?  Not a kiss!  So happy this movie did not cheese up the ending with a magic kiss.  This was not a romance movie at all.  The act of true love was a final act of resignation to the point of death in order to save a sister even though she was lost.  The act of true love was a sister recognizing her brokeness and accepting the act of love from the one who made the sacrifice for her!

I have seen a picture of a Corpsman laying dead in a street in Falujah.  The caption is actually a verse from the Bible… “Greater love has no one than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friends…”

Finally!!!

Finally a Disney princess chick flick that has a wounded, broken hearted princess living out of her insecurities instead of her idyllic innocence, a family that loves each other but still hurts each other, a wounded sister, innocent and devastated, a man who looks like, sounds like, and acts like a man, and Love being represented in a manner other than the tired, tried, and cliché, “Kiss… The One…” tradition.

Yup.

Maybe I’m going soft in my old age…

But I LOVED Frozen!!

How to Connect With an Introvert

For those of you who read this blog but do not know me personally, let me make something clear…

I am not an introvert.

Though I do not always enjoy being the middle of the crowd, I do enjoy being around people.  I love backpacking.  The only thing better than backpacking is backpacking with somebody else.  I have spent quite a few hours by myself sitting in the woods on hunting trips, but I would much rather spend that time sitting in the woods with somebody else.  I have found that I enjoy bird hunting more than big game hunting because it is a more social event.  Drawback… you have to kill a lot of birds to equal a deer.

I love who I am.

I love how I am.

There are still things about me that need to mature and develop, but on the whole… I love being me.

I have four kids.  When they were very young, they were your typical toddlers.  Into everything, running around, making noise, making a mess, spontaneous.  Our house seemed to vibrate constantly with the activity and noise that simmered perpetually within the walls.  My home is not a safe place for an introvert.  I understand that and so, when I am hanging out with an introvert, I meet with them outside of my home.  We meet somewhere quiet… like the mall…

I have all these ideas about ways to raise my kids.  I have these ideas about things to do in order to communicate just how much I love them and to really connect with them in a meaningful and intimate manner.

It never crossed my mind that any of my kids would turn out to be a calm, quiet, introvert.

What do I do with that?

How on earth do I communicate my love to a little girl who would like to just sit and look at a book… or look at art!

How did this happen?

On a more serious note, it really is pretty fascinating to see the budding personalities coming out of my kids.  My oldest is displaying her individual personality more and more.  The girl loves art.  We have a friend of ours who graduated with an art degree teaching private art lessons to my daughter.  I have found myself reading blogs from artists, both Christian and non, in order to broaden my ability to appreciate the same things my daughter appreciates.

Instead of going places and doing things with her, I have started making it a point to simply sit next to her.  We sit down to watch a movie and I invite her to sit next to me.  I try to make it a point to have her sit in my lap when I read books to them instead of always letting the toddlers sit on my lap.  I have started paying closer attention to which kids are running around downstairs and when I don’t see her, instead of calling her down to see what is wrong, I go upstairs just to sit on the floor of her bedroom with her and make small talk.

I take each of my kids to breakfast on Sunday mornings.  The oldest gets the first Sunday of the month, the youngest gets the last.  One of my kids wants to go to a busy sit down style place that serves great pancakes.  My oldest prefers to buy a donut and a juice in a grocery store and sit in the front of our car to eat.  I used to ask her why she preferred to sit in the car instead of going to a restaurant.  I do not ask any more.

I know she values these moments with me and I know they are good for her, good for me, and good for our relationship.

I have no clue how to evaluate these moments.  I see these times through my own perspective as an extrovert.  If I am comfortable, I am talking or doing, not sitting and stewing.  So when I sit with my daughter and we just sit there… something feels wrong.  When I ask a question and get a little short answer, I feel as though something is wrong.  I believe that things are not wrong, but that is how it feels.

It makes it very difficult to relax and just enjoy being with her when everything in me is convinced that something is wrong.  She must be upset with me.  I have to have hurt her feelings in order for her to sit so quietly for so long.

As I sit and analyze this, my questions tend to drift from wanting to connect with her to wanting to diagnose the break in our relationship.  It is so difficult to diagnose a problem that is not there.

I love my little girl and I know she loves me.

But I really wish I could figure out how to connect with her, and her introverted little soul.

Painting a Car

Daddy is at Work

It is an answer that my kids get a lot.

My precious wife is doing a superb job of replicating her character in our kids.  It is a true joy for me to think about the kind of people my children will become because of the influence of such a woman upon their lives.

I spend a lot of time at work.  Sometimes more than I need to, but that might have to wait for another day.  For the entire time that I have been in the Navy, I have been leaving for work in the morning before most people are getting out of bed.

This includes my kids.

It is part of their routine to ask where I am while they are getting ready for the day… or for them to just not ask at all anymore since it is normal for me to be away in the mornings.  The standard answer is usually given.

Daddy is at Work

So yesterday my wife and I went to a meeting after I got off of work.  I am behind on a few deadlines, so I stay late at work to get caught up.  I left straight from work to go to the meeting.  We left the meeting at about 9 PM.  By the time we got  home, my kids were already in bed.  I spent another day not seeing them at all.

As we were riding down the road, Jessica told me that my youngest decided to snuggle up in my bed after I went to work.  When Jessica came back into our room, my sweet little child asked her the standard question and got the standard answer.

Wife and Daughter

Jessica asked me a question…

“Does it hurt for you to hear that your kids ask about you when you are not home?”

“…”

“Or is it encouraging since you know  your kids are thinking about you?”

“Yeah…  it kind of hurts.”

But then I started thinking about this.

Why does it hurt?

It really is a matter of perspective.  I look at this from the perspective that I am missing so much, my kids seem to be growing up so fast, and they don’t have me around.  I miss them.  They miss me.

Here is what started to stir these thoughts around for me…

It does not hurt when Jessica tells me she misses me when I am away.  I have spent some hunting trips away from home for a week or two at a time and when Jessica tells me she misses me, it really doesn’t hurt.  I don’t feel sad.  I don’t ache to be  home.

So why do I feel that way after a long day without my kids?  Do I love them more than my wife?  Do I reason that Jessica’s understanding protects her while the kids are still vulnerable in their ignorance?

I do not love my kids more than my wife.

Her understanding vs. their ignorance… that may be.

What if it is perspective?  I have this feeling like I HAVE to be home with my kids.  I have this feeling that I am doing them a disservice and ruining their little lives if I am not home.

But what if my perspective is wrong?

What if my kids need me to be gone?

Check this out.  My kids are going to define normal for their lives based on what is common for them now.  If it is common for me to be gone often, then the normal for them is that Daddy spends a lot of time away from home.  If I can keep a very deep emotional connection to my kids for the duration of the time they live at home and protect the security they feel in our relationship,  then normal for them looks like peace and security in relationships even when not physically near.

I am not saying that I am going to find ways to stay out of the house in order to try and develop this in my kids.  Absolutely not!!

But it is something to think about.

If security in a relationship for my kids looks like face time and close physical proximity, then what happens when I leave?  What happens when they grow up and business or school takes them or their significant other away for extended periods of time?

Maybe it is good for my young kids to hear my wife say, “Daddy is at Work,” and then for them to feel the warmth, love, and connection to me when I am around.

Could this build that kind of security in our relationship that might not have otherwise developed?

Maybe.

 

And maybe I am just belligerently over thinking it…

 

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