Brave Made Me Cry

Brave / A Disney Pixar Film

We took the girls to see the movie, Brave, today.


I’d heard good things about it from the most reliable of sources, my Facebook friends, and I knew it was a movie with a strong female lead, so Lizard and I geared up, purchased the Red Vines and popcorn, got everyone to the bathroom and settled in their seats before the previews began, and enjoyed the show.


I was expecting a relatively shallow movie about a girl who didn’t want to get married and could shoot arrows. And to be honest, Brave wasn’t the deepest movie ever, but at one point I found myself crying.


The advertising is deceptive. The movie is really about a mother/daughter relationship that needs renegotiation.


You may know I’m a mother. And I have some daughters. Whew. All of the sudden some animated figures got me all choked up.


It’s that mother/daughter relationship thing! The movie struck just the right chord in me with its portrayal of negotiating a mother’s recognition of responsibility and a young woman’s need for independence.


I wonder if any other moms watching it felt their hearts break a little as they identified with each of the characters?


After the movie I talked about being a mom to a friend. She’s homeschooling as well and we are both freaked out we’re not doing well enough. Our standards for “well enough” are a bit unrealistic.


I think we’d both be satisfied if our 6-year-old daughters could read Atlas Shrugged or Oedipus. The fact they’re still working through Green Eggs and Ham is proof we’re failing them as educators.


When I write it down like this, I realize how foolish I sound. But when I’m talking to a trusted friend, all the insecurities come out. No topic is left untouched:


  • What are the best educational choices for our kids?
  • Is is right to hold them accountable for chores and family participation? To what degree?
  • Should they be involved in more/less/different extracurricular activities?
  • What is too demanding regarding expectations for their behavior?
  • Is it unfair to have them share their things with their siblings?
  • If they don’t eat all their food will they end up malnourished?
  • How much sheltering is too much sheltering? Too little?
  • Should we throw the television in the trash? Or can it be justified with shows like How It’s Made and America: The Story of Us?
  • Are we role modeling for the kids? All the time?
  • Are the kids going to end up resentful because we have a larger family and thus have to cut in other areas?


On and on and on… the questions never cease. The horrible part is, even while listening to these things roil around in my head I know there is no right answer.


There is only the right answer for us. (And sometimes that will change based on the season of life.)


I hate the lack of clarity!


Somehow or another, the simple, children’s movie Brave touched on the inexplicable difficulty of being a mom… and a daughter. Throughout the movie both mom and daughter learned to bend and listen.


I think they found out they could live peacefully in the ambiguity.


I sure hope that’s possible in real life. This is one fairy tale concept I’d like to implement!


Have you seen Brave? What did you think?

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2 thoughts on “Brave Made Me Cry

  • July 2, 2012 at 6:39 am

    You sold me on seeing it. My relationship with my oldest could use a little inspiration and help. Independent is her middle and first name.

  • March 25, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I finally read this post because I finally saw the movie (I have an irrational fear of spoilers). I started to cry a little, too, while I was watching it. My mom and I don’t have the problems of the queen and princess, but our perfectionist attitudes have caused many arguments, many tears, and many apologies. Even though this isn’t Pixar’s typical fairy movie, I can see why so many people – mothers and daughters especially – loved it.


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