Mother’s Day Musings

There’s lots of trite ways to start a blog post about Mother’s Day, and I tried a number of them before starting fresh.

So, from the heart, here’s what I’ve got:

I always wanted to be a mom. Some girls just know.

So, after a unique journey, when my first munchkin showed up, one of the deepest wishes of my heart was fulfilled. A couple years later, another one entered my life a little more dramatically and promptly wrapped me around a very dear little finger.

Mother's Day Musings

And I know that I’m blessed. Some mothers don’t have the experience that I do. Some don’t look at Mother’s Day as a day to celebrate. My heart goes out to you as you’re inundated with pictures of smiling families at brunch with flowers.

While I’m still in the throes of tantrums, diapers, and sleeplessness, I parent but haven’t faced any of the big challenges of older children.

My older one has developed empathy, making her a lot more fun to be around, and wants to do stuff that I want to do, like bake stuff and draw pictures. The little one also likes to do one of my favorite things. Hint: it rhymes with “Need Hooks.” He’ll raid the shelves for several volumes that he’ll bring to me in the kitchen or whatever other place is wet or sticky and insist I drop what I’m doing and answer this human need to hear a story.

How has being a mother changed me? Well, there are some obvious things, like jiggly bits, including the bags under my eyes, but there are other, deeper changes too. And I’m not talking about the fundamental altering of my DNA (it’s a thing!) that now includes some of my children’s DNA mixed with mine.

You may have heard your parents say “you’ll understand when you’re a parent.” And I didn’t discount those words. But their reality is much greater.

I truly believe that the depth of emotion I experienced—and hopefully expressed—writing “Redeeming the Demon’s Daughter” (without spoilers I refer to the opening scene of Suvi with her son) would have been impossible for me prior to becoming a mother.

I have a vivid imagination, but, like any writer, I still have to draw from my experience and emotion to write a believable character. The love a parent has for a child is different than any other kind of love. It’s not the same love you have for a spouse or a parent. And I had to experience that love to be able to write about it.

So even though Suvi and I could scarcely be more different and she made choices and sacrifices I can’t even begin to imagine, her story called to me from the beginning because of our shared experience as mothers.

And so to all the mothers out there—past, present, and future—we share a bond that I acknowledge this Mother’s Day.

Previous Posts:

A Little Honesty for Mother’s Day

First Mother’s Day

May the Fourth Be With You: A Rogue One Review

Many moons ago, I promised you a review of Rogue One. Then a bunch of stuff happened, and when I got up today and realized it was #StarWarsDay, it seemed like a good time to finally put my review on paper.

Let me preface by saying that Rogue One may be my very favorite Star Wars film. I loved story line, the character Jyn Erso and the [spoiler alert] doomed mission. I mean, come on, none of these characters made it to the next (first) film, so obviously (or 2/3 through the movie, if you’re me) you figure things are going to end tragically.

MayThe4thBeWithYou

Image Credit: StarWars.com

Of course I’m a sucker for a strong warrior heroine type, and Jyn’s passion for avenging her parents offered me satisfying character motivation. Her recognition of the file name being her nickname, her belief that her father wasn’t a traitor, the too-obvious dying breath reunion…all of this was sentimental tripe that I totally ate up.

But the movie passes the Bechdel Test, in which two named women talk to each other about something other than a man, and Jyn kicked plenty of Imperial butts without being belittled or overshadowed by other characters.

Let’s not forget dreamy Captain Cassian Andor with his much-lauded casting, given that his accent had nothing to do with his character and everything to do with making a lot of people flock to see a film in which a character looked AND sounded like them (bravo, Disney). Of course he doubted Jyn, didn’t trust her, planned to sabotage her mission, and unwittingly fell for her before dying with her in a spectacular nuclear blast. #romance

The best aspect of their relationship: romance was never a focal point in the movie. Jyn had a mission, she inspired what became the Rogue One crew, and Cassian had a mission, and he led the Rogue One crew. But the way they trusted each other by the end…absolute perfection.

It’s on the topic of casting that I think Disney made an incredible political statement:

  •        Jyn (a woman) and a band of various minorities (including two badass martial artists, a defector appearing to be of Middle Eastern descent, a weary part-cyborg, a rebel AI, and a strongly accented Hispanic-but-not-really-cause-it’s-a-long-time-ago-in-a-galaxy-far-far-away) are all fighting a bunch of old white dudes for power. No, seriously. All the good guys with significant screen time were minorities. Well-played, Disney.
  •        And they succeed, except they all get wiped out in the process. Let’s not read too much into this one.
  •        There are bombs going off and dead people being brought to life (albeit on film) to make their wishes known. Voter fraud, anyone?
  •        There’s espionage and sabotage of government documents and plans. Like, say, WikiLeaks, or, um, a particular email scandal.
  •        There’s a rebellion. Led by a woman who gets herself on a plane. That’s not reminiscent of any election I can think of… (cough…sarcasm…cough) But let’s not forget Princess Leia, either, also a leader of the Rebel forces. #RIPCarrieFisher

Another aspect of Rogue One that I liked was the intricacy of the plot—if you stopped paying attention for even the briefest moment, you probably missed something critical.

I liken this to a good novel—if you see something mentioned more than once, it’s probably important. And it’s probably why reading mysteries is no longer the challenge it could be. #writerproblems

The idea of a reprogrammed droid, an Imperial droid, becoming a staunch Rebel, secondary to Bodhi Rook’s defection from the Empire, also scored high on my interest level. People can change their minds, they can do the right thing, and they can sacrifice everything for a cause they come to believe in.

Without Bodhi Rook, there would have been no story—Jyn wouldn’t have been compelled to prove her dad wasn’t a traitor, the Rebels would have known little to nothing about the Death Star, and we would have the Empire crushing all their enemies forever until they proceeded to take over Earth.

And a little faith and a lot of belief can help even non-believers come to the fold. We’ve seen both good and bad examples of that in recent and not-so-recent history. Bodhi’s fear and courage critically impacted the plot of this story.

Finally, I wanted to appreciate the realness of each of the characters. We weren’t just fascinated by Jyn and Cassian and a random droid. All the rest of Rogue One’s crew was there for a reason, had their own dreams and fears, and fought a special battle of their own. They were each heroes of their own stories, not stagnant caricatures filling space in a plot.

May the Fourth be with you. If you’ll excuse me, I have to put on my Star Wars shirt and flip on the movies now.

NOTE: Star Wars is owned by Disney since they acquired Lucasfilm (duh). I borrowed this image from starwars.com. It’s not mine, nor are any of the characters from the Star Wars franchise mentioned in this blog post. I’m not trying to break their copyright/trademark/ownership, etc. in any way, nor do my views stated in any way reflect the views of Disney. Please don’t sue me. I’m just a big fan writing about a movie I really loved.