I love the unexpected. I love when life gives you a moment in time that is so truly ordinary and void of expectation and suddenly (or even slowly) it turns into a pivotal moment. An aha moment if you will, a moment of clarity and understanding.
I never anticipated being thankful for the nasty cold virus that descended upon my house this past Spring. As the virus made its way through the inhabitants of our house, I found myself home on the couch with my teenage daughter, a shared box of tissues between us.
TV remote in hand, we found the movie Spanglish about to begin. I knew that I had seen Spanglish before, but quite honestly my recollection of movies is sad at best. I remember telling my daughter, let’s watch it, I think it’s pretty good or at least funny.
(A little sidebar from this post. If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend it. As a middle age parent, I think I related to every character at some point, even the drunken grandmother. I included the trailer at the bottom of this post…let me know what you think.)
By the end of the movie the tissues were for more than the runny noses. The end of the movie is a scene between a teenage daughter fighting fiercely for her independence and her mother. The daughter tries to shame her mother by screaming at her on the way to their bus stop. When the mother tries to speak to her daughter at the bus stop, the daughter stops her by saying “I need space.” The aha moment for me was the response from the mother when she says succinctly and adamantly, “There is no space between us!”
The movie is narrated by the daughter as she writes her admission essay for college. In the end she writes about “being her mother’s daughter ~ there is no space between us.”
Initially I struggled with this concept because as parents we worry about our children’s development and we want to foster their independence, “when to push them… when to back them”. If there is “no space between us” then does that mean the daughter is not her own person? Is she living her own life, or shadowing her mother’s?”
It has been several months since I saw the movie and I have mulled over its message. I am proud to be my mother’s daughter with all her strengths and weaknesses, it is her blood that courses through my veins and I am proud. I am not a perfect mother, but it is my blood (sweat and tears) that courses through my children’s veins and for that, I am proud. “No space between us ~ I am my mother’s daughter”, I thought that this was wrong, until I realized it was so right.
I would like to thank the cold virus that put life on hold and allowed me to watch this movie. More importantly, I am grateful to have watched it with my daughter for whom I am absolutely certain, no matter where life takes her, there will be no space between us.