Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Julie & Julia & Me

This weekend I saw the movie Julie & Julia for the first time. I LOVED IT. An inspiring film--one that confirms, among other things, my belief that butter is bliss. (I always feel safe and secure when I possess plenty of butter--a sheet of cookies is never far when butter is near.) Not only did the movie confirm that is butter bliss, but also...things take time. And marriage goes down and hopefully, back up again. This movie resonated not only because I enjoy cooking (with butter), but because I love to write. In the movie, Julie starts a blog detailing her daily cooking journey through Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In the end, Julie does what she loves and as a result, writes a wildly successful book that becomes a wildly successful movie. Love that for her and aspire to these same writing successes myself.

The movie delivered more than just an identifiable story line--it gave me a gift. A gift I will forever store in my heart and reexamine like a beautiful piece of sea glass. Just in case you, like me, wait years to watch popular movies, here's a quick background: Julia Child married the love of her life when she was 40 but never had children.
In a brief yet powerful scene, Julia learns of her sister's pregnancy. Through aching tears, she tells her husband the news and tries to convince of her joy, despite her grief, for her sister. As I watched, I held my breath. I cried, too. Because when I was 19, doctors told me to procreate by the time I was 25 and maybe I'd get lucky (no pun intended). I didn't meet hubby until I was 28 (no pressure) and we married just a month after my 30th birthday. I'm gratefully on the other side of this story and I've given birth to two, healthy miracles. The gift of perspective this movie afforded holds me captive, reminding me, through Julia Child's pain, what might not have been.

Now, I reflect on my last week with my children. Last week, the sound of their constant chatter and screams exhausted me. Last week my children physically accosted each other.
At one point I hid on the floor, behind the kitchen island, so they wouldn't see me and ask for everything with a side of juice. Last week the only sound that exited my daughter's mouth seeped with sarcasm and sass (see No Answers). Last week sucked. Last week I sucked. After watching Julie & Julia, this numbing perspective descended: How would I feel if I didn't get to experience this life as a mother? What if I'd never met Abby and Henry...and what if they weren't my children?

My children inspire me to write. To learn. To swear. To remember myself in this motherhood madness. To ask forgiveness. To tout my strengths and learn from my weaknesses. To reexamine the beauty of a slushy mud puddle.
The days are long and arduous, but I am a mother. Humbled, daily, by what I've yet to learn and grateful for the exquisite opportunity to travel this bumpy, potholey, emotional, joyous path with them, my children.


ModernMom said...

So beautifully written!
I think we all need a little reality check about how lucky we really are sometimes. Lucky lucky people to have such little miracles in our lives!

Theta Mom said...

My children inspire me as well and now I need to go check out that movie!

Existential Waitress said...

I've really got to see this movie.

And I know what you mean, my children have exhausted me this week - but then in one moment I'm reminded how very LUCKY I am to be their mother, and that I should cherish every moment of the insanity (even when I'm hiding, praying they don't find me so that they can tattle on each other. like right now).