Monday, June 3, 2013
Through a Mother's Eyes
I did not anticipate how much being a mother would change me.
A mother's lens makes me see the world differently. The fast-driving teenagers do not annoy me; I worry for their safety. I want to pull to the side of the road to tell tweens I do not know to wear their bike helmets. Every creek, pond, and swimming pool is a terrifying hazard.
Every bad thing that happens to a child could happen to my child. I can't see the news, read a novel, or watch a movie without seeing the characters as a parent would.
It means that every sad and awful thing I read in the news haunts me. So I try not to read the news.
It means that I cannot read books in which bad things happen even to fictional children. My book club (mothers all) has a ban on bad-things-happen-to-kids books.
It means that I can watch a movie about adults and view the characters not as peers but as children through their parents' eyes.
I had one of these experiences while watching Silver Linings Playbook. At the beginning of the film, Pat has been released from a mental institution after committing a violent act triggered by his bipolar disorder. He is broken, as are many of the other characters in the film. The prevailing question is whether Pat--and his family and friends--are going to be okay.
No spoiler here, but at a happy redemptive moment, you begin to think Pat and crew just might make it. Pat rejoices, and his friends and family share his joy.
In that moment I felt Pat's joy, but I also saw the scene from his parents' perspective. The worry, optimism, and relief on his parents' faces was heartbreaking. In that instant, I saw only a struggling child through his parents' eyes.
That single movie moment crystallized for me that I will always feel about my children the way I do today. I will always worry about them. I will always try to protect them. I will always do what I can to comfort them and make their lives better. As long as we are on this earth, I will always be my children's mother.
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I have linked this post at Just Write.