Not Much Help For It

Pardon my absence my dears.  I was terribly busy getting ready for a Girls’ Weekend of Epic Proportions (5 days, 4 nights!) while taking care of Rex during another of Mr. X’s business trips.  And, then, I was on my trip and damned if I was going to spend precious vacation time on the internet when I could be doing things such as eating and drinking my way across Rhode Island, getting a pedicure, strolling through Newport, picking out my new summer cottage (just have to convince those finnicky ladies at the Preservation Society to part with it) and touring Providence.

By Hint of Plum, Via Creative Commons

On our last day, in Providence, though, it rained and rained and rained.  We were good sports for the morning, trudging through the wet streets and avoiding splashes from passing cars to go to the state house for some history and culture. It also happened to be dry which was a real plus.  Had the governor waited to greet us before being whisked off in his black SUV right before we got there, it would have been even better.  But, soon enough, there wasn’t anything else to see and we were left contemplating what we could do in Providence given the rain.  So, we did what any two ladies left to their devices would do: we went to a movie.  In the afternoon.  On a Monday.  How freaking decadent is that?

We went and saw The Help*.  I chose it.  I wanted to commune with the south and greenery if not in real life anymore (goodbye New Orleans), then at least for a few hours in a darkened theatre in Providence, of all places.  I had qualms about my choice almost immediately.  I wasn’t mentally prepared for a tear jerker and by the looks of the previews, that’s what I was in for.  In the end, what just walloped me were the babies, Mae Mobley, in particular.

Mae Mobley

So the child is a girl and I have a boy, but my boy is a little younger than Mae Mobley and has the same blonde hair and chubby features.  And all I see throughout the movie is her horrible mother neglecting her and yelling at her and spanking her.  And all I can picture is my little cherubic boy and how awful it would make me feel if he was subjected to the same treatment.  Aibilene’s love and care of Mae Mobely made my reaction that much more of an over reaction because she too recognized what a gift this child was and how she was being grievously ill-treated by the woman who was supposed to love her. And I wanted to bawl, weep and ridiculously wail during these scenes. I settled for polite sniffling and strategic eye wiping.

Later, it occurred to me that this is not normal, this over-sympathizing with a fictional character because she resembles my kid.  I know that it is a manifestation of my fear that something terrible will happen to him and I won’t be able to protect him.  The thing is, my kid is strong.  At two days old, it took 3 NICU nurses to hold him down to get a line in him.  He is also resilient. Sure, he does his little toddler-tap show of frustration when we don’t let him have his way, but he gets over it and moves on.

He is a strong little tiger (especially when he’s pushing on my throat to be let down) but for some reason, I just see him as a helpless little kitten who needs to be carried around protectively and not let out of sight.  Do bad things happen? Unfortunately, yes.  But, like a kitten with claws, my baby is not defenseless.  His shrieks could be used by the fire department for their sirens.  He can scratch with the best of them and he has recently become enamored of hitting (which we are very much trying to discourage).  We also provide him with daily doses of love – both tender and tough – that will help innoculate him from the trials of life as he gets older.

I’m finally getting over the movie – like it’s a cold or something.  I can recognize that it’s a work of fiction and my kid is fine.  But, to the producers of the movie, please consider adding a disclaimer at the beginning the film: “Neurotic mothers of babies about 2 with over-sympathazing issues should not watch this movie.”

*Nope, haven’t read the book. Before I saw the movie, I had it on my to-read list but after the movie, it got chucked in the can.  It will not do me the least bit of good to read it.

2 thoughts on “Not Much Help For It

  1. I read the book (haven’t seen the movie). I’m not sure I want to see the movie, for fear it will change the way I visioned the characters in the book. I am betting that you would have even a more sympathetic reaction (read: tears) if you read the book now. lol.

    It’s that deep compassion that really resonates with me, that the deepest bond with a child isn’t always with a blood relative. Did they cover the loss aspect in the movie (miscarriage)? I think if I saw that in a movie theater I would bawl my eyes out.

  2. They did cover Celia’s miscarriages, although not in depth and with a certain amount of … reserve. Those scenes didn’t bother me nearly as much. But, your mileage my vary.

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