I’ve written a variation on this theme, before, but it’s the greatest hope I have for my kids.

“Daddy? You be ‘Anna’ and I’m going to run away from you with my cape and you say, ‘No, Elsa! Don’t go!’ Ok?”
“OK, buddy.”

Role-play ensues.

Even Colton, who’s words are limited to “pee-pee” and “nana” gets into it. When he sees anything Frozen, he shouts “Anna!”

As already discussed, our household is ruled by Frozen. (Actually, Thomas the Train still rules, but there’s a lot of Disney princessifying going on.)

Frozen thrills Ellison. He plays all the rolls: Kristoff, Sven and (especially) the sisters. I’ve gotten good at fashioning dresses out of old swaddlers (blankets, not Pampers.)

The other day I figured, “Eh, he hasn’t watched it in two weeks. Why not?” As we waited for the movie to load on my computer, Ellison jumped on the bed shouting, “Hooray! Hooray! I’m so excited to watch Frozen!”

He shouts “hooray” sans irony. I mean, who talks like that? It’s so…earnest, so…“Barney” dialogue.

After a recent snowstorm, we built “Olafs” in our backyard with some play-date friends, a boy (age 5) and his sister (age 3).

When Ellison started singing, “Do you want to build a snowman?” the boy said, “I hate Frozen. It’s all about love. And I hate love.”

“Wow. That’s…specific,” I sputtered.

His little sister said, “Yeah. I don’t like it, either.”

“Oh,” Ellison said; then (matter-of-factly) added, “I like it!”

It was as if they’d said “my name begins with R” and he said “Oh. Well, my name begins with E.”

And in that moment, I felt a desperate need to stop time, grab Ellison, and say, “Buddy, you go ahead and LOVE Frozen with all your heart, just as you do, now. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.”

Their mother rolled their eyes saying, “Whatever. They were both dancing around in Frozen dresses, this morning. Peer pressure. It’s no longer cool for him to like the movie. And his sister’s just following.”

“Already?” I thought. “At five years old social acceptance looms?”

I hate that.

I’ve spouted lessons for my son in this blog. But above all, I wish most for him to hold on forever to that innocence where he loves what he loves. If he’s thrilled with Frozen or football or fungi, I’ll be elated to talk about it.

How I wish he could live divorced from anyone else’s opinion. Watching his captivated face as he’s engrossed/scared/delighted watching Frozen warms my heart.

Eventually, I know he’ll follow crowds.

I know he’ll say to me, “Daddy, don’t hug me so much,”

or “Daddy, it’s not cool to sing,”

or “Daddy? Can you drop me off at the corner? I can walk the rest of the way myself.”

But I wish it wouldn’t happen soon.

Son, just hold on to whatever makes you feel joy and free and light and inspired. And if whatever inflames your passion is something that isn’t cool for the outside world, I promise you: it’s safe in our house. So act out Frozen or play football or become bizarrely obsessed with fungi.

Your passion and interests are always safe with me.

I know you’ll be influenced by others far too soon.

But be innocent for as long as possible.

That’s my deepest hope for you, buddy boy.


  1. It’s all about love and I love LOVE! (And warm hugs.) Very sweet. That tug to try to protect their innocence and those sweet little open spirits only gets stronger, believe me.


  2. Loved this column…and endorse the message wholeheartedly. There is something pure and
    pristine (right word?) to be observed when one’s child responds passionately to some
    stimulus in his environment…..be it a turtle, or a toilet, or a video. Whatever. It’s
    a marvelous thing to watch.


  3. Does this mean I can publicly announce that I still LOVE Backstreet Boys at age 33? Haha. But seriously. Great column! Forget teenagers, I think many *adults* could be truer to (or more honest about) themselves, and we’d all be happier.


  4. I love this post! I just said to a family member the other day that I will be sad when my two year old son will be influenced by the world outside our home. For now he loves dresses and anything glittery. He puts on the play dresses and says pretty Mama. I can`t begin to express how much beauty I find in that, the sheer innocence and pureness of his joy. We have no such thing here as boy or girl stuff or what others think is cool, big rule is love what you love. His four year old sister loves rough and tumble stuff, Spiderman is her favourite. I wish I could protect them forever from peer pressure and what society expects. I guess all we can do is encourage their individuality and teach them to be themselves as much as possible before those influences begin to affect them.


  5. I have not seen frozen yet :/

    Love this article. It’s getting me to think! Soon I will be a dad and I will follow in your parenting processes. This is a great lesson to hold on to.


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