Our kids are learning a new definition of “Let it go” (and it’s the best thing ever)

There’s an unspoken deal between me and my Sunday school students: If they’re doing any sort of craft or activity, the Frozen soundtrack needs to be playing in the background. It’s important to them. They adore the songs, and so do I (or maybe I just like seeing how much they adore the songs). And, of course, they belt out “Let It Go” with the passion that can only be found in a Disney-infused 8 year old.

let it go
(It’s basically this, all the time.)

For those of you who haven’t heard the single (and suffered the inevitable weeks of song-in-head syndrome) or seen the movie, it goes something like this:

“Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know”
Well now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore

Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway

Context: Queen-to-be Elsa is cursed to turn everything she touches into ice.  She lives in hiding for years and years to spare the world from her so-called destructive quality. When the curse which she has suppressed for so many years is unleashed, she “can’t hold it back anymore” and begins a process of  embracing who she is and the curse she has (first by running away, then eventually by using the power of love to use her so-called curse to save the day).

November 1st, 2013 @ 20:49:52

My girls sing this song, and I can’t help but smile. Not because I think running away and locking yourself away with your problems is a good move, but I am so grateful that they’re learning this definition of  the words “let it go.”

Because you know what definition I learned?

I learned that “let it go” was synonymous with “behave.” These were words I heard when I happened to be sad about something longer than I was supposed to be (God forbid!).” Or when I cared about something more than I should. When I was suffering. When I needed to pretend something wasn’t bothering me.

“Let it go” was  always about hiding. For those three words to become a call to emotional honesty and an empowerment of true identity…that’s huge. It’s huge for my students, and it’s huge for me.

Essentially, the “IT” in let it go has changed.

When I was growing up, let it go = let go of your feelings, let go of your history, let go of your dreams, let go of your true self.

For the Frozen generation, let it go = let go of expectations, let go of trying to please everyone, let go of hiding. Oh, and love everyone else through their truth, too.

Guess which one is a way, way better message for our kids?

Watching those same words which used to assault me into “moving on” encourage my students to move inward and to express themselves? Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Frozen soundtrack, you are welcome in my classroom any day.

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Chalking It Up, Part 1: The Blackboard Wall

I want my home to be fun.

What a crowd-pleaser statement, I know. Of course I want my home to be fun. Of course you want your home to be fun. I also want my home to be cosy  and open and bright and quirky and welcoming and [insert unarguable “home” attribute here], but that’s besides the point.

“Fun” was front and centre in my mind when I reorganized the apartment this summer.  I was set on having a specified area in the open concept living space that was fun–specifically, fun in a music-y way.  Music has always been important to me, and I knew my roommate-to-be was no different, so the apartment had to encourage tunes.  I wanted the keyboard to get played. I wanted our CD collections to get played. Basically, I wanted a space where we could “play,” period.  That space, naturally, needed to be as open to creativity as possible.

The blackboard wall was inspired by a suggestion from good ol’ Josh, and solidified thanks to some fond childhood memories (growing up, our playroom in the basement had featured some cute little blackboards…these were mainly used to to torture my younger brothers with endless games of “school”; I know I had a good time).

All it took was two coats of blackboard paint, purchased at the local Canadian Tire, to turn my previously-dull keyboard corner into a canvas.  I have never seen anything so effective in making a home more fun.

Here’s a picture from the “cloffice” post last week. You’ll see the blackboard wall in the background:

Disclaimer: If you venture to read the wall, I would like to note that Jesus/Jagger/Gambino may not have used those EXACT words. Paraphrasing.

It’s super helpful for making notes to self/one another, as well as for writing down ideas, encouragement, Pokemon doodles…the usual. I would like to note, however, that the wall was visited last weekend by two monumental artists.  This was a gamechanger.

Pictured above: The game being changed.

I rest my case. Actually, I should probably rest my case with a picture of the wall in its current state. If this isn’t fun, I don’t know what is!

I personally love the “surf borad” which defies all laws of physics, courtesy of my two favourite artistic geniuses.

Since the wall has become such a hit, I decided it would be worth it to take this chalk action to the next level in a couple subtle/clever ways around the apartment.  It’s happening. It’s happening as you read this, in fact.  Lloyd’s response earlier today as I set to work on this latest project: “You said you were going to do it, and now you’re doing it. I don’t know why I’m still surprised anymore.”

Translation: Autumn apartment part two and Chalking it up part two are very ready to make their relationship official. Can’t wait for what next Friday has in store!