Thursday, May 12, 2016

London: On Marriage and Motherhood

Saturday afternoon we saw a beautiful film made in India called "The Lonely Wife." It was cinematically gorgeous, and held some amazing insights on marriage and other relationships. There is a scene in the garden that is breathtakingly beautiful, and the ending will stop your heart.

That evening, after a quick dinner at the Shake Shack in Coventry Garden (shout-out to the Blueberry-Lemon milkshake—oh, my!) we saw the musical "Matilda" based on Roald Dahl's book.) Several of our students last time said this was their favorite show they saw here, but we didn't have a chance to see it then, so I was thrilled it's still playing. The tickets were pricey, but worth it.

One of the strongest themes was that every child is a miracle. I believe this with all my heart. The birth of each of our children felt increasingly miraculous, never commonplace. A few months ago on Twitter I saw an ad campaign advocating childlessness as a choice. That alone doesn't bother me so much. But it was the blatant disdain for children and motherhood that gave me pause and raised the hairs on the back of my neck. I helped launch a social media counter-campaign "Worth Every Ounce of Effort." (Click on all the links. Each one will take you to a separate image.)

Matilda's parents are hilariously horrible, discouraging reading and insisting the children watch more "telly." At one point the mother rages, "These dinners don't microwave themselves!" Apart from the sheer entertainment factor, it was refreshing to see the way Matilda celebrated children and childhood, advocated kindness and forgiveness, and acknowledged the miraculous origins of every human life. It valued love above all else. And made me feel great about being a mother.

And can I just add what an extraordinary blessing it is to be in Europe for two months with my wonderful husband and each of our amazing kids (Jeremiah for the whole two months, and the rest for about 2 weeks each). It is such a rare gift to be together as a family 24/7, apart from our typical run-til-you-drop lifestyle. There really is no substitute for quality time.

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