Away We Go last night. i love LOVE loved this movie. directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty) and starring John Krasinski (the Office) and Maya Rudolph (SNL) - both were so believeable...the screenplay was written by Dave Eggers (who also wrote the screenplay for the upcoming very anticipated Where the Wild Things Are) and Vendela Vida and it was just so fresh and simplistically real.
This movie had everything - great story - AMAZING cast and characters - great music and great heart. The story is about a couple who upon learning they are pregnant and that the main character's parents are moving to another country decide they can move anywhere, so they take a trip to various places meeting different family and friends to try to find a new "home". The main characters - Burt and Verona are very much the narrators in the film and introduce the audience to a variety of different types of families, parenting styles and ideas of "home".
I think this movie touched me so much because i could relate on so many levels as a new mom...pregnant with Bryson...trying to figure out what i am doing - what kind of parent i want to be - what kind of environment i want my child to grow up in. when we were pregnant with bryson we were one of the first of our group of friends to make the plunge into parenthood...i felt so isolated on so many levels...we were fairly new to long beach - didnt have a home church really - had a lot of single friends and newly married or engaged friends. our close friends who we dearly loved who did have kids moved just months after bryson was born. i am so glad that things are different the second time around and now i am surrounded by support and moms and church and MOPS and a host of other resources.
i remember being asked by a young mom shortly before i got pregnant what type of parenting style i preferred. i thought it was an odd question...she asked if i was into "attachment parenting" or if i was more into "authoritative". i hadnt really thought it through...just thought my parents did a good job...and bryan's parents did a good job...maybe we would just figure it out and take the good parts and leave the bad and make up the rest (which is pretty much what i guess has happened). at one point in the movie she meets Maggie Gyllenhaal's character "LN" and her family, who describe themselves as a "continuum family" - oh goodness she was so stinkin hilarious! they bought her a stroller, much to her disgust and she explains "I love my babies....why would i PUSH them away from me!" - they really overplayed the attachment parents and made a point to show how condescending some can be, but they equally showed the ugly side of the opposite type of parents as well.
it started me thinking about my own beliefs...that i typically am turned off by any parent who follows a "sect" of parenting, instead of their own instincts...parenting is not a political party...you aren't one type or another and to follow a person's ideas like a manual for parenting (which would be nice and tempting sometimes) can be dangerous. it makes me think of all those parents in the 70s who followed the androgynous view of parenting - that society impacts and determines the behavior of the sexes, instead of nature and how against common sense that is...(i'm channeling Middlesex here)
not like i know what i am doing...because 2/3 of the day i dont...i am on a journey, but i thankfully have the confidence of a shared value system with my husband and church community as well as amazing parents and in-laws as role models. i think it is so scary as a parent to realize the responsibility you hold shaping a little life and i think for a while that fear seized me, which is why the support i now have i hold as invaluable and would encourage anyone feeling those same feelings to get involved in a playgroup or something where you find that support....because motherhood is not for the fainthearted...
okay - wow - this is a movie review, not a soapbox...so i will step down now and just say that this movie is brilliant and you should see it - whatever stage of life you are in - and see it with someone else and have a conversation about your own journey of finding home...whatever that means...