June 7, 2012
Guest Post by Maggie Clermont
Maggie Clermont makes her home in the small city of Plattsburgh New York with her husband of 10 years and her two children. Lily (8) and Evan (4) were each born in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet Republic and were adopted into the Clermont family on the momentous days when "the judge said yes!"
Tangled: Who’s Your Mommy?
A friend suggested that I watch Disney’s Tangled with my daughter Lily as a way to get her to brush her hair. Little did I know that the child who would be more touched by the movie would be my younger son, Evan.
A little back story for those not familiar with the movie: Mother Gothel kidnaps Princess Rapunzel for the healing properties of her golden hair, locks her away in a tower and raises her to the cusp of her 18th birthday.
“Why is that Mommy so mean?”
At 3, he was fascinated by the relationship between Mother Gothel and Rapunzel.
I replied, “Well, sometimes mommies are mean, and sometimes mommies are nice. What kind of
mommy would you like to have?” And so began a wonderful, ongoing dialogue about mommies and
how they treat their kids. About redemption. About how Mother Gothel could have turned good in the
end, but didn’t...
I saw that friend several weeks after our first viewing of Tangled and mentioned how Evan had really
taken away this great message about Mother Gothel and her response was, “Why didn’t you just tell
him that Mother Gothel wasn’t Rapunzel’s REAL Mommy?”
I never once thought of that as an option, because to a 3 year old adopted child, the nuance of a legal
adoption versus a fairy tale baby snatching is beside the point. What defines a REAL Mommy to that 3 year old mind? Someone who:
keeps me warm
puts a roof over my head
protects me from harm (even if the reason is self serving)
So in Evan’s mind, Mother Gothel is about as real as they come – and about as mean as they come, too.
But don’t worry, she turns to dust in the end...like all good villains...real or otherwise.