I watched the end of Eat Pray Love last night. I paid money to see it in the theatre and left after the first 45 minutes. When I told my girlfriends that I left, they shook their heads at me. “You missed Javier Bardem. That is a shame.”
They were so right.
What a gorgeous creature he is and what a gentle, caring, HOT man he played in the movie. In one scene, his 19-year-old son comes home from college for a few days and he weeps as his son heads back to school. His emotion was so raw in the scene that I felt I was right there with him feeling the loss of Maria or Mario as they left for school. He also falls madly in love with Julia Roberts, takes her shopping and brings her cures for hangover after a night of partying. Do they get any better?! Actually, Jon pulled all 50 of my bobby pins out of my hair the night of our wedding when I drank a little too much out of pure exhilaration for the day so he ranks up there with Javier.
Back to Javier’s weepy departure with his son. I wept for 15 minutes in my family room after I watched that scene. I thought of Maria and Mario heading off to college, scared but also ready to be on their own, creating their own memories with friends, learning who they are, putting themselves to bed (that did quickly bring a smile to my face). I try every day to teach them something new or bring a smile to their face or listen to their stories. And every once in a while I wonder “does it even matter?” Will Maria and Mario grow up to be better off because I read them one more book or I pushed aside my work projects to listen to them perform a song? Will they miss me or shun me when they head off to college? Will they only call me when they need rent money or will they call me to talk about dating issues?
Yeah, all of those thoughts from a ten second scene of a dad kissing his son goodbye and weeping. Truly, I must be PMS. But, alas, I could (and often do) bog my mind down with 550 different questions and concerns about what my children will be like at the age 20: whether they will confide in me as they get older; whether they will feel a bit more secure and confident in this world because of Jon’s and my actions; whether they will charge into the world with a free mind. One of the ways I try to stop myself from engaging in such a stress-filled activity is by closing my eyes and practicing gratitude for the opportunity I have been given to be with them at this time. I appreciate the moment I put my work down and read Curious George instead. I enjoy listening to Jingle Bells being sung off-key and misquoted rather than finishing the dishes. I am thankful that I can head to the park and run around the swing set acting like a monster out to get them.
No matter what occurs with them in the future, I know that I have given myself to Maria and Mario. I have dived into the pool of motherhood and swam far underneath. If they forget me when they are 20, then they forget me. Eventually they will come back again. And I will be there with wide open arms. Because that is part of parenting. Ups and downs, great times and horrible ones. You have to be willing to let yourself dive into the water with the risk of sinking for a while. It is only when you go far underneath that you see all the wonders of it too. And the wonders are too awesome to miss.