Tag Archives: Lessons

Dory. Quite possibly the Greatest Mind of our Time…

18 Nov


Ah, Disney.  What did we ever do without you?  For over half a century you have been guiding the youngest of our generations with your profound life lessons told so creatively through your lovable characters.  Thanks to you we know to steer clear of ugly old women with delicious looking apples (Snow White).  We now know naming a cat Lucifer is just asking for trouble (Cinderella).  And who could forget the ever important lesson of staying out of the clearing during hunting season, especially if you are a deer (Bambi).  Yes, there are many important messages in your movies that I’m sure we have all carried with us as we grew and became parents ourselves.  I know I will think twice before selling my voice to a Sea Witch (The Little Mermaid).

But perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned comes not from your timeless classics of my youth, but from one of the newer animations that I watched with my 2 year old a few years ago; Finding Nemo.  Now there are many humorous moments in the tale of the lost clown fish and the determined father to find him.  I recommend it to anyone, kids or not.  But one of the scene stealers in this Pixar animation is a little blue fish named Dory.  And even though she provides the comedic relief and is voiced by the hilarious Ellen DeGeneres, don’t let her short term memory fool you.  She may very well be the greatest mind of our time.

There is a scene in the movie where Marlin (Nemo’s Dad) and Dory are stuck at the bottom of a whale struggling to get out.  And Marlin is so desperate to save Nemo he is yelling things he promised his son.  He finally feels defeated and falls to the bottom, Dory following behind.  He then says “I promised him I’d never let anything happen to him.”  A normal thought any responsible parent has.  But then Dory replies “You can’t never let anything happen to him, then nothing would ever happen to him.  Not much fun for little Harpo.”  It’s a small moment, I know.  But that scene and those words really resonated with me.

You see, I was a responsible parent.  I was loving and nurturing and fair.  I was also overprotective, over controlling and neurotic about making even the slightest mistake.  I was a “helicopter parent.”  I thought I was going to be the one who got it right.  The one parent in the history of parenting that was never going to make a mistake and never “let anything happen to her son.”

But with the “AH HA” moment that came from Dory’s great wisdom I found myself observing my own parenting skills.  I decided to let go a bit and take my son out of the bubble I was once so proud to keep him in.  I let him play.  I let him fall and then I let him get back up all by himself.  I let him get dirty!  And while each time I had a mini stroke at the loss of control, my son’s smile seem to echo Dory’s words.

And now my son is 8 and I find myself still listening to Dory’s thoughts and the wisdom that so often comes from the simplest minds.  And whatever bubble I still had in place was quickly popped when I had my second son and I realized that in deed, not everything is life or death.

So thank you Disney for opening my eyes to “A whole new world” (Aladdin) of experiences, adventures and yes, even mistakes.  We are better with you in our lives.  I shall celebrate you tonight over a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs (Lady and the Tramp).

Anyone else have a favorite Disney moment?