Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Love

Last night was Film Club, a chance to hang out with the girls and watch the kind of movie that would make LK run for the hills clawing at his eyes. Last night's offering, chosen by the wonderful Mooks, was the perfect example of a film that would LK would never, ever watch. I think he'd rather sit down over a cup of coffee with his Mum and say 'hey, got an hour, let's talk, really talk'. We saw 'Nowhere in Africa' which was not only beautiful, evocative, and award-winning but was also in German, with subtitles. See what I mean? No Will Ferrell in sight. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend it, but there is the usual caveat that I was heavily under the influence of some stellar pinot. It was one of those films where you end up caring so deeply for the characters that by ten minutes in we were laying odds on who was going to suffer the inevitable tragic and haunting death. It also made me want to go home, hug my daughter til her eyes popped out and promise her a world in which man's inhumanity to man would cease. Like I say, much wine was drunk.

I have always been a bit of a weeper when it comes to movies, I was inconsolable during Herbie Goes Bananas. Having Anna though has rendered me a sentimental basketcase. I seem to have lost all emotional resilience and, dare I say it, perspective. Perhaps I just have a new, softer, perspective - whatever, it's bloody annoying. Particularly because the one thing that always bothered me before I had kids was people who would say that you never really knew what love was until you had children.

Now a bona fide member of the Mom-brigade (no perineum here) I still find the concept insufferably patronizing and insulting. But is it true?

Is it ever possible to empathize without having gone through the exact same thing? I think it is.

I will be the first to admit that having kids has changed me. It's certainly true that I pay more attention to children now, that I feel more pain at tales involving cruelty or neglect to kids, but to assume that if you're childless you are somehow incapable of understanding the love a parent has for their child is staggering to me. Having Anna has taught me a lot about myself, about how I grew up, how I relate to people, but I still recognize the pre-Mum me. Yes I had different priorities, and much prettier toenails, but I was still human, I could still love and realize the depth of love parents had for their children.

That is one of the defining things between women - have you noticed that there always seems to be a 'we have kids' or 'no kids' dynamic in all relationships, with blokes that is almost never the case. I certainly get on much better with my fellow staff at work now that I have become 'accepted' as a mother. God it pisses me off. Why do women do this to themselves?

Maybe it's just that I won't completely understand what it is to love until I have a son.

It's been suggested.

Seethe.

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