Thursday, March 13, 2014

5 things we can learn from Nia and Sam's "Love is an Open Door"

Some high school friends of ours are becoming a YouTube sensation. With almost three million views, they're gaining lots of attention for their adorable lip sync of "Love is an Open Door" from the hit animation film "Frozen." If you haven't seen this adorable video, watch it here so you can better understand what I'm talking about.



With rising fame, views and even news stories (they made the Huffington Post, PerezHilton and a few other sites), comes a ton of scrutiny.

I mean I get it, everyone has an opinion. But I don't understand why people say horrible things about them as parents. These people know nothing about them; they saw two minutes of their actual lives.

Their daughter sits in the backseat playing with a book, not paying them much attention (she is singing the words some though, if you watch carefully).

Nia and Sam do a flawless job impersonating Disney characters. They even look like a real-life fairy princess and prince charming. Yes, they are good looking parents, and yes, she's wearing her seatbelt. It's moved behind her a bit, anyone can see that. They are being safe and would never put their children in danger.

The reason I wanted to talk about this is because people think they have some sort of power to sit and judge behind a computer screen. Well, look at you Cass, what are you doing now? Yes, I'm looking at a computer screen typing away how I feel about said-subject. I'm sure I've judged people on what they post or what they do (especially celebs in pop culture)... but I've never bashed anyone just to be purposefully malicious or mean.

My husband and I aren't personally close to Sam and Nia, but this is what I know about them. They are good people and are two parents who are completely in love. Nia is a stay-at-home mom and makes wreaths as a side business (she's quite possibly one of the sweetest people I've ever met), and Sam is a photographer and nurse.

I catch myself scrolling through my Facebook feed stopping at their posts, looking at pictures of their adorable children.

The photos that strike me most are the ones Sam snaps of his family in their everyday environment. Some look as if he's sneakily walking around his house capturing real moments without anyone knowing he's there.

There is really such beauty in that--admiring people when they aren't looking and knowing what greatness you have in front of you when it's there. A lot of people take things for granted in this world, but Sam and Nia don't seem like those people.

Sam talks often of Nia (on social media) and shares how much he loves his beautiful wife and kids, and she speaks with the same affinity for him.

He's posted the most incredible photos of his daughter this year in a self-declared 52-week challenge. His goal is to take her out to different places "feed [his] daughter's appetite for exploration and adventure while simultaneously satisfying [his] hunger to craft beautiful images of her." When I see him post another image, I'm immediately taken aback by the beauty of the landscape and how he sees life when he's with his daughter. How lucky is she to look back years from now and see how much her father loves her and how they spend their time together?

So you can understand why reading some of the negative comments has made me sick to my stomach... I don't understand why people have to nitpick every little thing to rain on someone's unique way of making memories and having some fun.

Here's what I think this video teaches people, or at least taught me:
  1. Turning your kid's obsession into enjoyment for you. When you have kids, you understand they develop obsessions. Whether it's with movies, music, food or toys, they get stuck on something which usually is just a phase. If it's music or movies, we as parents listen to that over and over. Eventually you catch yourself singing along or repeating movie lines to make yourself enjoy it more, but most of us don't record it. In reality, this video will be a story and a memory their child can look back on. She may laugh with their parents, or get embarrassed, watching them reenact a scene from one of her favorite childhood movies. But it will remind her of how silly her parents are, and how lucky she is to have them as her parents, and I think kids enjoy that, no matter the age.
  2. Try to be in more videos with your kids. Their daughter sits in the backseat, quiet and well-behaved, not at all surprised her parents are jamming out to the Disney song that plays loudly through the car speakers. But this got me thinking... how many videos am I in with my kid? I'm normally the one recording and, honestly, I don't like to see myself in videos. The more I think about it, the more I think it's important for your kids to have an understanding of what life was like when they were kids and how involved their parents were; and videos can do that. As a stay-at-home mom, I spend the most time with Brody but don't have many photographs of me and Brody, much less videos. I need to make an effort to make more memories of me and him for him. Plus chances when we look back at them in ten years from 2014, we will probably be laughing or cringing at our hair and wardrobe choices. That should be fun!
  3. Be yourself. I think it shows parents and their kids to let go, have some fun and enjoy life a bit more. Who cares what other people think? Nia and Sam were with their kids having some good, clean fun. They're making memories and involved in her life so much so they made a video using a song from a movie she loves. That makes them pretty cool parents, if you ask me.
  4. Example of how marriage a great marriage looks. I don't mean we should break into song or bust out musical numbers on the daily, but it shows two people in love and so comfortable with the other person they can act, play and be silly without a second thought. When their kids look back on this, they can see what a marriage is supposed to look like or how marriage looked with their parents. Every marriage isn't perfect nor should we act like it is. But if you truly love the person your with, the world takes notice. And Sam and Nia, the world is taking notice. There aren't many people who would do something like this (and share it with the world), but I think it just proves these two are a match made in heaven. They're open, carefree and free-spirited and really know who they married. They're in love, you can see it when you watch the video, that's why it's been such a sensation. Plus it's entertaining!
  5. Celebrate others and their relationships. There have been several moments I've almost hit the "share" button, but decided not to post something in fear of people thinking I'm stupid or look like an idiot. But watching several of my Facebook friends share this video, proved to me that people can enjoy other families and their humor while celebrating their success. Of course there will be moments people ask you, "WTF did so and so post on FB?", but I hope after reading this more people will take things a little less seriously, lighten up and be happy for everyone. If you're happy in your life, you should radiate with positivity and gain joy from others who succeed. 

Thank you Nia and Sam for posting such an amazing video. I think those who saw it the way most of us did would say you brought a smile to our faces. 

Cheers to you guys and keep bringing us the fun!

And for the Negative Nancy's out there, take a look in the mirror. As one commenter said, "Love is an Open Door" so leave your "FROZEN" heart behind and "Let It Go."

Best,