I’m one of the few parents on the planet who only just saw Encanto. I’ve sung along in the car to “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and “Surface Pressure,” but only this weekend did I have the pleasure of meeting the family Madrigal on the screen.
There’s lots to say about this film. How they must have had so much fun making it. How the colors are glorious. How Mirabel is lovely. How the tiny details that our kids picked up on because they were watching it for the third or fourth time continued to delight them. How the line, “You are the gift” is so right and true and important for every one of us to hear.
But the truth that I took away from this film was the idea that our gifts will break us if we think our value comes from those gifts and not from our belovedness. Isabel buckles under the weight of her perfection. Luisa crumbles as she tries to prove her worth through her brute strength. And then the whole world around them also begins to break. Only as they begin to recognize their inherent beauty and belovedness can they be whole, only then can their gifts simply be gifts, offerings, blessings to them and those around them.
As a parent watching along with my kids, this movie was a reminder that their gifts aren’t the gift. They will break under the pressure of performance if all I do is praise them for their gifts. And they will become who they are meant to be if instead I help them know that they are beloved.
Read more with Amy Julia:
- Friday Favorites and AJB Recommends
- Friday Favorite: Don’t Look Up
- Favorite Books for Kids and Adults That We Read in 2021
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