Yes, that is what I said. It is so easy to dislike Disney and all the homogenous, saccharine, low-level stuff that they churn out year after year. The heavy-handed bad guys, the doe-eyed nubile females, the stereotypical housewives, henpecked husbands, hapless monarchs, evil queens. But when your kid loves that stuff, in the pure and honest way that they do, it is hard to continue to be so sophisticated and stick to your story.
Nat and I have been plowing through a Disney bedtime storybook, and tonight we were on The Little Mermaid. Nat was in fine form. I think he’s a bit hot for Ms. Ariel, frankly: who can blame him, with that little purple bikini top and the way she does those backflips all over the place? And what about the fact that she’s naked when she is finally given legs? Nice the way Disney skims right past that and she ends up wrapped in a man’s shirt. But I digress. He made no mistakes at all and read with a loud, clear voice — so unusual to hear his voice pronouncing words that I can understand. He even corrected himself sometimes in a way that told me he really understood what he was reading. I was so excited that I started singing The Little Mermaid song, “Part of that world.” Just as when he was little, I sang a few lines and left the last line blank on purpose, to seduce him into singing with me. And he did! I said, “Nat, let’s sing it together.” And so we both sang it, at the top of our lungs! He was very excited, clapping his hands, flapping. He almost didn’t like it, he was so twitchy, but I think I stretched it to the point where he still could bear it. At the end I hugged him. It was truly wonderful. Tonight, I was “part of his world,” and he was part of mine.