Our first winter back in Chicago (after living in LA for 9 years), I found a fanciful snowman decoration with the quip, “Let It Snow.” Three days after I hung it up in my kitchen, it snowed 18 inches and the temperature dropped into single digits. Although I’ve never been superstitious, I was tempted to take down the sign and pack it away forever.
I was reminded of that episode this winter because one of our worst winters in recorded history has happened to coincide with the release of the Disney animated feature “Frozen.” In the movie, a young queen’s anger and fear turn the entire kingdom into a land of snow and ice. I brought my daughter and some friends to see “Frozen” on an aptly frigid day in January when the piles of snow in the parking lot dwarfed us and our little car. After viewing the film, I felt as if the Snow Queen had put an icy curse on our town.
I also remembered that children don’t share adults’ dread of winter and snow. They see snow as a future snowman or fort – or fodder for an awesome snowball fight. Ice is something to skate on. Icicles are for eating. They don’t worry about pipes freezing, cars starting, or driveways needing to be cleared.
In the movie “Frozen,” the younger sister begs her older sister, “Do you want to build a snowman?” She represents the innocent joy and wonder of childhood. Her older sister holds the fear of her strange power inside and is consumed with worry. She cannot play or build a snowman.
As this long, brutal winter drags along, I will try to embrace my inner child, bundle up, go outside, and maybe even build a snowman.