“You’re a racer, Cruz Ramirez!” My daughter, Marvel, speaks excitedly to the yellow toy car hugged close to her chest, you can hear the pride in her voice. We’ve been watching Cars for the umpteenth time, all because Marvel said, “Pretty please?” to her daddy in her little sing-song voice.
Moments later she is shouting for joy as her favorite racer crosses the finish line, winning first place!
Ever since we had our daughter, going out to the movies has been tough. We didn’t get to see Cars 3 until its digital release. I’m one of those strange people who loves Cars 2, and I’d heard this one was better.
Who knew it would become such a family favorite.
My daughter has never really cared whether something is classified as a boy toy or a girl toy. She likes what she likes. She already liked Lightning Mcqueen and even had a few Mcqueen toys to play with. But Cruz Ramirez was all she talked about. We finally got her a Cruz toy to go with her Lightning and Sally toys, but Cruz goes everywhere with her now.
As I watch my daughter cheer and shout for Cruz, I can’t help but think how happy I am that she has good role models, like Cruz, to include her in pretend play.
She learns that she can be anything, despite what others tell her. I love hearing my daughter tell her Cruz toy, “You’re a racer, not a trainer.” I want her to remember that because there are always going to be people telling her that she can’t be something.
But more importantly than Marvel remembering to believe in herself, I need to remember to believe in her.
Whenever Cruz begins to realize her potential, it doesn’t take long for someone to remind her of her place. The blow comes especially hard when her hero, Lightning Mcqueen tells her she’s just a trainer and her win at Thunder Hollow doesn’t make her a racer. When we are told we will never be anything more than what we are, it’s heartbreaking. But hearing it from those we admire the most, that’s devastating. Thankfully Lightning realizes his mistake and sees the true potential that Cruz Ramirez has.
I need to always remember to see the true potential in my daughter. I need to celebrate with her when she learns something new, I need to be there for her when she starts to doubt herself. While my daughter races through life, I will be her crew chief.
Tonight, as I hear my daughter play with Cruz quietly in bed, I’m grateful for a character that teaches self-confidence. And a movie that teaches to always believe in others.