From the Other Side of the Door

If you’ve seen the movie “Frozen”–and if you have young children or grandchildren you’ve probably seen it many times–you’ll probably recall the scene where the younger sister is begging her older sister who is locked behind a door to come out and play by singing, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”

Now anytime our three-year old grandson Thomas visits our home and My Beloved or I are on the other side of a locked door (usually going to the bathroom), Thomas knocks on the door, and sings “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” in his sweet and irresistible voice.

The choice of song is a bit ironic in that we live in sunny California and it is warm enough today inside for me to have a fan blowing to stay cool. Despite that, shortly after I send this post, I’ll be building a make-believe snowman in our living room with my grandson. You can probably guess the name Thomas wants to give to it. Olaf. Of course. Poor Frosty has been replaced by this generation with a lot of help from Disney’s marketing machine.

With Love,






About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
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27 Responses to From the Other Side of the Door

  1. ksbeth says:

    that is sooooooo cute –

  2. Mrs. P says:

    That is so adorable!

  3. This made me extremely happy Russ. 🙂

  4. The snow arrived today in RI. It’s quite pretty outside but I think I would prefer the snowman you and Thomas are building in California. (Last winter was a doozy here!) That scene is such a sad one. It amazes me how popular the movie was for young children.

    • russtowne says:

      That scene is sad indeed. I was also put off by the monster the younger sister’s initial love interest turned out to be. He seemed like such a good guy that it was jarring when all of a sudden he flipped. I know there are such chameleons in real life (I’ve run into a few but fortunately not as love interests yet still had my heart broken on occasion). Part of me says it is too early for very young children to get the message that great evil is often also done by attractive people who act very nice, and part of me says perhaps the message given early enough may help keep some children from harm’s way, and perhaps inspire some youngsters who are (for example) already being molested to tell someone about it or to start the conversation that some people can look and act nice and do very bad things.

      • Yes, those are good points.I’m afraid, however, that little ones are more superficial and that message may not be received. I think they may be more centered on the costumes and the songs.
        I tend to be protective in the stories I write for children.The Bambi trauma still haunts me to this day! (Disney was criticized for the darkness within his movies.)

        • russtowne says:

          Also good points. I too tend to be protective in the stories I write for children. Disney and even Seuss tackled darker themes than many were comfortable with for young children, yet I loved their work, and still do. I believe it is tough to strike the right balance, and that different children respond from each other and mature at different speeds.

          • I wish for all children to live in a perfect world where they’re cherished and protected. I wonder had Disney’s childhood been an easier one, if his work would have been different? No poison apples, no princesses imprisoned in towers, no witches casting sleeping spells , no evil stepsisters…Life in a Disney movie was quite tough on young girls.Very sad.

            • russtowne says:

              I wish your wish would come true.

              I think stories that only offer good/light/sweetness get dull fast for children after they hit a certain (fairly young) age, and that is especially true for adults. When I think of my favorite kids books and movies growing, they involved some pretty bad antagonists. It was an over-simplified “good guy/bad guy view” of the world but perhaps it helped me to begin to grasp that not everyone in the world is a “good guy.” The nuances came later as I matured and the stories became more complex to hop my attention. Even my favorite children’s book, Horton Hears a Who, involved quite a few antagonists who were very mean.

              I think Disney’s newer movies may be helping girls have better self-esteem and confidence whereas the girls in the earliest ones were typically saved by a strong male character and then got married and lived happily ever after. I believe a lot of girls grew up finding Prince Charming sometimes isn’t such a catch after all and were unprepared to effectively deal with that situation. But most movies made for adults also have happy endings. I love happy endings, and will tend to avoid movies and books if I know they have sad or tragic conclusions, so I can’t blame writers an movie makers for giving to me what I (and I believe most of the public) want.

              (I apologize for my rambling…)


              • In Sondheim’s Into the Woods, the character of Prince Charming tells Cinderella, “I was raised to be charming, not sincere.”Great line! Wish I’d wrote it!
                I love your rambling. I’ve been (typing) rambling with another blogger, Robyn Haynes, all evening and I just told her that I wished we could be sitting sipping a warm drink in front of my fireplace. I think having you with us would make for a really good conversation.

                • russtowne says:

                  I hadn’t heard that line before but I like it. I know of a number of charming people who lack sincerity. I believe I’d greatly enjoy a conversation sitting in front of your fireplace with you and Robyn.

  5. russtowne says:

    LOL at your PS!


    • Ah, the follies of youth! I’m in the middle of writing and was not going to do a post this weekend. But our conversation on fairy tales was so interesting, that I’m thinking of doing something on that. Not sure, yet…. (I think your books might be at the post office today. Hope so!)

      • russtowne says:

        “I think your books might be at the post office today. Hope so!” How long has it been? It seems like quite a while ago that I delivered them to the post office. Has it been more than a week? Please let me know if they don’t arrive today or tomorrow. I can send a new set if it appears the first ones are taking an unusually long time to arrive. I sent them Media Class. Perhaps they got delayed due to an overhang of holiday mailing volume, though I would think any backlog would have been worked out of the system by now.

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