Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No Amount of Popcorn Could Help

It's the most ordinary of Wednesdays - school, gymnastics, watercolor painting at the dining room table, Jason working late - and yet each minute of it seemed excruciatingly intense. Each everyday action - helping Jemma wash her hands, walking Annie to school on the icy sidewalks, soaping their little shoulders in the bathtub - was so tangible. I can't stop touching their cheeks, feeling their hair, listening to their giggles, kissing their foreheads. I can't stop thinking about the movie.

I went to see The Lovely Bones last night. When we made plans to go, I felt a twinge of uncertainty. I read the book, years ago, and remembered it being, well, lovely as well as tragic and disturbing and interesting. The twinge wasn't enough for me to rally the group to another choice, though, so I found myself sitting in a theater last night with four other mothers of two little girls each, watching as one family was ripped apart by the abduction and murder of their little girl.

It was brutal. Parts were gorgeous (the girl spends much of the movie watching from heaven), and there was a satisfyingly redemptive ending, but I spent much of the movie feeling physically ill. I sat clutching my own arms, covering my face with my hands, shaking my head no. I thought about leaving. When it was over, I felt horrible inside. We all did. I came home, and I cried. I went in and sat on Annie's bed, pulled her covers up around her shoulders, and watched her sleep. I prayed, an Anne Lamott-like prayer that went along the lines of please, please, please.

And then this morning I woke up, and like a gift, Annie sat eating her Cheerios and writing YOU ARe THe BesT MoM in her High School Musical notebook. Jemma stood behind her closed bedroom door and giggled, the way she does every morning before she comes out for a hug. Jason made me coffee. Annie and I walked to school, holding hands and stepping on the crunchy ice.

Right now, I can't even sort out what I am feeling about this or say exactly why a movie I saw (of a book I'd already read) is affecting me this much. But tonight, the girls tucked safe and sound in their beds, all I know is that a part of me is glad that I did not, in fact, leave the movie. A part of me is glad that today, an ordinary Wednesday with my family, seems like such an amazing, vibrant, generous gift.

1 comment:

  1. Hhmmm...supposed to go to this on Sunday. May need consultation with you beforehand.