I love family stories. For example, books and movies that follow several generations. I especially enjoy watching/reading the interaction between mothers and daughters. The Disney movie Brave is a great example. Anyone who’s ever had a young teen daughter knows exactly the dynamics at work in this film. The eye rolling, the exasperated sighs, the backtalk. Mom losing her temper then having regrets. The two of them each wanting the other to understand. (Spoiler Alert. If you don’t want to know the end of the movie, don’t read the end of this post.)
Now I would never encourage a girl to give her mother a potion that changes her into a bear, but I’m sure my daughter wanted to. After seeing the movie, my son-in-law says he’ll make sure his wife and daughter watch the movie again in about six or seven years.
I didn’t go through that stage with my mother. Odd, I know. With six younger siblings, I knew how hard Mom worked just to keep the house clean, laundry done, and meals prepared. During my middle school/high school years, Mom also finished the inside of our house. Dad and his brothers built our house. Once the walls were up and floors down, Dad had other priorities—like working two jobs to make ends meet. So city-girl Mom taught herself how to lay tile—not the peel-and-stick kind, asphalt tile where you spread a black tarry substance to make them stick. She learned to mud the seams and nail holes, sand the drywall, and paint.
As the oldest, my job was to help Mom. Help with the laundry, scrub the kitchen floor every Friday, change diapers, and feed babies. Somewhere in my teen mind, I thought I had to take care of Mom. So smarting off to her wasn’t part of my behavior. Well, maybe I did once then felt so much regret I never did it again. Going through my daughter’s teen years while I was in peri-menopause was a disaster waiting to happen. Too bad I waited to get Xanax until my son hit sixteen.
In “Brave”, both Mom and Merida change. Merida has to teach Mom (in bear form) how to survive and Mom has to depend on her to changer her back. But as Mom becomes more bear, a frightened Merida works even harder to rescue her mother. I love the end where Mom is more carefree and she and Merida become friends.
Until Alzheimer’s stole Mom’s mind, she and I were friends. That’s the hope I have with my daughter and that she has with hers.
I blog here on the 8th and 30th of each month and Mondays on my own blogsite http://dianeburton.blogspot.com