It is the word you knew was coming. The dreaded one-word answer to “What do you want to be for Halloween?” Gone were the days where you could stick your baby in a Hot Dog sack as a nod to Portillo’s. Or glue a mustache to their binky in homage to the great Ditka.
“Are you sure, sweetie,” you say.
“There are going to be a lot of Elsas this year,” you try.
“Elsa.” Kiddo is unmoved.
“What about this cool super hero costume, it is really–”
“ELSA,” she growls.
Elsa it is.
This morning, I pulled her blue sparkly dress over her head. I slicked back her brown hair and stuffed it under her white-blonde Elsa wig. Yet another Elsa to add to the Elsa Army of Frozen-obsessed princesses, sigh. And then it hit me.
Surely, almost each and every parent of each and every Elsa said the same thing that I did to their kiddos. “Are you sure you want to be Elsa?” And each and every Elsa said right back, “Yes! I want to be Elsa!” These girls knew what they wanted! These weren’t pushovers! And they weren’t going to take no for an answer! Indeed, these were strong, independent girls, the future leaders of America! They don’t care that you don’t like their outfits! They don’t care about the feminist critique of Frozen, or all Disney movies in general. They don’t care that they may be perceived as just one of thousands, a cliche even. That doesn’t matter to them! They know who they are! They are Elsa, damn it. And they want to be Elsa AND THEY WON’T BE STOPPED.
If only we could harness this determination, this lack of self-consciousness, this disregard for what others think; if only we could make it last forever. In the classroom, in the streets, among their friends, among their coworkers and peers, when watching TV and flipping through magazines, when dealing with men in public and in private, when it comes to matters of the heart, when it comes to sex, when it comes to career choices, when it comes to negotiating salary and voting and advocating for their best interests. If only we could all be little Elsas who just didn’t give a damn.
I put Kiddo’s shoes and jacket on over her Frozen dress and we stepped outside, the garage door opening in front of us.
It was snowing.
Octobers in Chicago can go either way. We have had up to 80 degree days or as low as into the 30s. It had been pretty mild lately, into the 50s, but they had predicted cold for Halloween. Kiddo stepped out into the driveway and looked up as snowflakes fell onto her upturned face.
“Kiddo, it’s snowing,” I said. “It’s your powers!”
Her mouth slowly opened and her eyes widened.
“It is my powers,” she said, triumphantly raising her arms. “I’m Elsa and I’m making it snow!”
She’s Elsa. and that’s ok with me.