Monday, August 9, 2010

Break Their Hearts and I Will Kill You

While at BlogHer, I am re-posting some of my favorite posts. This was originally posted on October 4th, 2009. I will be back with original content on August 10th.

On the weekends I try to escape to the movie theater to get a little relief from the twinsanity. Occasionally the husband and I will tag team a movie. One person goes to see the first show then immediately comes home and tags in so the other one can catch the next show. Then we discuss it later. It is almost like a date and we don't have to pay a babysitter.

Usually though I see mind candy movies, rom-coms or action flicks, that my husband will never want to Netflix. What can I say, I love movies and will see almost anything. This weekend I went to see Whip It, Drew Barrymore's new movie about roller derby. And I really enjoyed it. Drew and I are around the same age and much of the music and fashions seemed to be taken straight from my own early twenties (also in spent in Austin). It was just a fun two hours, remembering my own misspent youth.

One scene, though, struck an unexpected chord. Ellen Page's character Bliss drives to her childhood home after having her heart broken by a guy. As I am sure every other woman in the theater was doing, I immediately thought about my own first heartbreak. Looking back on it I am not even sure what it was about this guy that made me so in love with him. The sex was pedestrian and I never really felt like I could be myself with him (I was much quirkier than his friends) but dammit I was so into him.

And he was into me, at least for awhile. I truly thought that I had found the one, that my life was settling into place, that this was it for me. Did I mention I was nineteen? Ah young love. When we broke up I was so at loose ends that, like Bliss, I fled home in the middle of the night.

The thing was though, as I watched Bliss sit on the floor and cry, my attention was more focused on her mother and the pain on her face. And I thought, oh fuck, that's going to be me. Times two. I am going to have to live through heartbreak all over again. Only this time, it is going to be a million times worse.

I felt sorry for my own mother, thinking back to when she came home from work that day and walked into the kitchen to find me. I immediately burst into tears when I saw her. She gathered me in her arms and said "my poor baby" just like I do with my girls when they fall. She watched me cry through dinner out at a restaurant, a movie, and ice cream. I think I may have still been crying when she put me on the plane back to Austin.

That's when the phrase "I don't know how she does (did) it" comes to mind. How do you watch your kids be hurt and not be able to do anything about it? How do you not wrap them up in protective gear and fight their fights for them? So far I think I have been pretty good about letting the girls be independent and fight their own battles. But their battles are small. It is easy to stop myself from stepping in when someone steals their swing, but it is going to be a lot harder when it is someone stealing their heart.

Maybe my girls will be the heartbreakers instead of the heartbroken. A mom can dream right? If not I will let them cry in my arms. I will try to empathize and let them know that I was there too and that it does get better. That someday they will have a hard time even recalling that guy's name (or girl's, I'm open). All I know is, that whoever it is, they better be happy I am a namby-pamby liberal who believes in gun control.

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