If you are a mother and especially if you have (an equally?!) headstrong daughter, I recommend you both watch the Disney-Pixar 2012 movie, “Brave”. We missed it in the cinemas last year so I haven’t thought much about it until last Tuesday. My 12 year-old daughter, Dana dragged me to the seat , literally, when Star Movies showed it that night. Because the theme was on mother-daughter relationship, I suspected it would be another Croods moment for this tearjerker – cartoon-movie-watcher. And true enough, I have wiped an occasional tear or two throughout the movie! Haha! (Not again!)
It is Dana’s personal favorite because the fiery princess Merida is an ace archer. She dreams of becoming one ,well, maybe more like Katniss of Hunger Games. As to the former, well, she will always be my princess. So the moment I stepped in the door at home from work, she immediately told me Brave’s scheduled for the night! I initially didn’t budge in to her request because I had a long day and wasn’t really feeling quite well but it was our appetizer, main course, and dessert for dinner, so what can I do? Plus, Dana’s last plea was “Mom, you really have to because the Queen mother is so much like you!” Hhhmm, I could be the heroine alongside Merida ( I found out later on that I am like her when I need to be “firm” about something), so I joined them as they watched it for the 2nd time around.
It turned out Queen Elinor was the antagonist so that her daughter was willing to do anything just so her fate would be different , or so she thought, out from the shadows and will of her mother. In their heated confrontation scene when Merida said she will never be like her mother, I cannot help but wonder, will my child also think of me that way at a certain point of her life? I know right now she just wants to be like me – she wants to sing like me, she wants to write like me, to be crafty even in some little DIY projects around home ,etc. I know because she says it so. But I also know that my daughter is unique – she’s not the copy-pasted ME, nor my mini ME. But she is HER OWN ME. God has made her so wonderfully complex (Psalm 139:14), in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:27) ,and not just an XX chromosomed – being.
Dana knows the boundaries we set for her ( that includes no Facebook account yet even if sometimes she doesn’t like the thought of waiting , but I was surprised to know that she was glad Google suspended her Gmail account because she is yet to reach 13 – she said Google protected her ) and has understood clearly the God-given authority that we have as parents. I never ventured in asking her if she somehow felt like Merida – being in a situation where she’s helpless and longs for freedom. I am glad the story ended in a way that Merida has found the true measure of bravery and the real meaning of family. I didn’t have to explain what true freedom means and end up being defensive of some sorts.
So where does this put me? I remember the scene where Merida hit 3 bulls-eyes, in a desperate move to take matters in her own hands. Such craftiness and dedication to the skill of archery that had me think of Psalm 127:3-5:
“Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.”
Our children are the arrows in our hands. Although they are here, we do not own them, we don’t keep them. They don’t stay long in our “quivers”. For if they do, it will entirely defeat the arrows‘ purpose. They are ought to be launched from the bows of opportunities that we set for them and believe that as they soar high, suspended up in the air, we trust that God will direct them to their targets, bulls-eye , into His will for each of their lives.
How’s that for a mom’s “brave awakening”?