Last night, I was thinking about animated Disney movies that I grew up on.
The Little Mermaid was the very first movie I saw in theaters when I was nearly three, and it’s forever been my favorite Disney movie. I remember the theater in the old mall that’s now demolished (and has been for most of my life, sadly), the Front-Row Joe preview, and, of course, seeing the redheaded mermaid meet her prince on the big screen. While I never wanted to replace Jodi Benson as the best Ariel ever, her vocals and that movie did inspire me to shoot for my dreams. That was the first movie that impacted my ideals, because Ariel’s journey showed me that dreams were possible to reach.
(Mrs. Benson, thank you for your work as Ariel. I’m sure you hear this a lot, but your contribution to that movie inspired me and added a touch of whimsy to my childhood. I can’t tell you how many Little Mermaid Barbies and Little Toys [action figures] I had because of you. In fact, I still have them.)
|Ariel and her voice, Jodi Benson; compliments of Google Images|
The song “This Little Light of Mine” also shaped me. It gave me courage, because it told me that God would shine through me if I lived for Him. I’ve seen proof of this many dozens of times in my lifetime so far, and I’ll keep believing it through to eternity.
Freeze tag was always a fun game to play. It provided exercise, lots of laughter (which I’m personally a huge fan of), and cherished time spent with my cousins and sister. These moments (among others) showed me the importance of community, whether it’s with relatives, friends, or acquaintances. I have craved community ever since, and I still do today. Thankfully, I’ve got a great one. My parents and sister and I are still really close, and I’ve found some fabulous friends (in person and online) who keep me sane in the craziness of life.
Food. This is always important, and it’s played a major role in many of my childhood (and adulthood) memories. My favorites growing up are still my comfort foods today: instant mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets, with ketchup smothered over all of it. The conversations during dinner, the smiles shared and stories swapped, the sense of family and nourishment (I’m not looking for a discussion on the health benefits [or lack thereof] of my comfy foods, here) all made a huge impact on me when I was young, and I hope to provide the same sort of atmosphere for the next generation, if I am blessed with children down the road. Those around-the-table memories are some of my favorites to look back on, because they are when my family connected after our days were spent apart (dad at work, mom in the bookkeeper’s office at school, my sis and I in our separate classrooms…). That connection is amazingly important to me — then and now.