Friday, November 30, 2007

Stumbling across the NaBloPoMo finish line

G and I went to see Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium this evening. Nearly every review I've read of it has been bad, but I really didn't think it was that terrible. Dustin Hoffman was creepy in a Willy Wonka-ish sort of way, but the special effects were pretty, and there was a nice message about life and death, which was, in a nutshell, that the fact of death shouldn't overshadow the life that preceded it. Life, not death, is the most important part of anyone's story.

During the big speech to that effect, G kept turning to me and asking "Are you crying, Mom?" which is a minor obsession of hers. At any remotely sad movie, she'll spend all the saddest scenes checking me for signs of tears, and during the memorial service for P last July, she repeatedly lifted up my sunglasses to look. I find it a bit odd that she's so concerned, as I don't cry a lot and when I do, it's never in front of her. This is because in general, I think kids need to believe that Mom is OK and will be able to take care of them and not fall apart. Saying "I'm sad about that" or "I miss your dad" is one thing, and I've done both plenty of times, but sobbing on an eight-year-old's shoulder is quite another. It's a grownup's job to be a grownup and make the kids feel safe. (The drawback, of course, is that no one makes the grownups feel safe, but as my father likes to say, that's life in the big city.)

In other news, it was a beautiful dark, rainy day, and I say that with absolutely no irony. I love the rain, and we don't get nearly enough of it here to suit my tastes. I hope it doesn't actually rain tomorrow, since we're planning to go to my mother's house and it's a longish drive, but I'd be perfectly happy to have overcast skies for the rest of the weekend. Fingers crossed.


Anonymous said...

Hey V--

I haven't replied in a while, but something you said today struck me.

You said, "I find it a bit odd that she's so concerned, as I don't cry a lot and when I do, it's never in front of her."

Well, maybe that's exactly why she does check? Maybe she's wondering 'what it will take' to make her mom cry? I don't mean that in a critical way, but more that she's curious just how sad something has to be before she sees you cry?

And I think it's OK for kids to see us cry. Oh, not at the drop of a hat or at Hallmark cards, but the death of a pet or a loved one, certainly I think they need to see that appropriate tears in an appropriate place will help reduce the likelihood of our getting a stress-related ulcer.

Just my 2 cents, of course.

Pixilated Mum said...

Dustin Hoffman scares me in this previews, so I thought maybe this was a horror film. ;-)

And incidentally? My kids have seen me cry.I have NOT let them see me cry uncontrollably or unhinged, but they've seen me cry when I've been sad or frustrated about something. *More importantly* they've seen me stop crying, wipe my face and keep going. That's just me, though. Every family handles the topic of crying in their own way.

(I never saw my dad cry until I was much, much older and lost my first baby. I still hate that my first glimpse of him crying was something that involved me ...)

And my mom? Saw her cry. Oh, yeah. It never scared me, though. I just thought, Oh, she has deep feelings, too.

That's just how it was for me ... Every family's different.

Humincat said...

I completly agree with your stance on crying and kids, I just am not that in control of my emotions. I have never, and will never be blubbering on my kids shoulders or other body parts, but a few times a year, she will hear me crying in the bathroom and check on me and I'll explain that women are emotional and menstrual cycles make it worse, so not to worry, I'm just overwhelmed with feelings. As a sidenote, Cateyes checks on me about crying as well, not to the degree that G does, but probably because I get annoyed quickly with it and snap at her. I wonder if it's their way of dealing with their own emotion, by focusing on us and pretty much ignoring what is going on....

Pixilated Mum said...

Me again. Commenting on the comments on my blog. ;-)

No, you didn't mention that book before. So, YES, I am going to put it on my list of books to read.

And, yes, that reptile place is the one that you're thinking about. I've always passed it and then last week, as we were waiting for the used bookstore beside it to open, we peeked in and were, well, drawn into its lair.

I LOL at your comments, by the way. Yeah, the monitor lizard was, hm, interesting. I wasn't so much worried for the 7-year-olds, who are lightning fast, but I kept thinking that:
1. these lizards eat small mammals
2. Sebastian is a small mammal.
3. Sebastian is very close to the ground in this stroller.

But it all worked out. : )

Jenny said...

Hey, just because it's not NaBloPoMo anymore doesn't mean that you can desert us. :P