Somehow this old blog of mine has turned into a dumping ground for my movie reviews and not much else. That’s strange when you consider that I’ve seen maybe one movie in the theater in the past 6 months and sleep through 99% of the movies we watch at home. I guess that means that if I manage to stay awake and the movie touches me, it must really be worthwhile. And this really is, friends.
“Short Term 12” is one of those movies that you will tell yourself you don’t want to watch but you absolutely must. It’s about a group foster home, and yes, it will make you cry and rip your heart out of your chest. But it’s also funny and tender and moving and full of the most miraculous performances. I loved every second of it. There was no way I would have fallen asleep when I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the actors on the screen.
I’ve always had a soft spot for foster children. I went to a volunteer orientation for a local nonprofit that helped foster babies to potential adoptive parents once years and years ago. When I came home from the first meeting, J made the family decision that I wasn’t allowed to go back, mostly because 1. I wanted immediately to foster/adopt all of the kids myself, and 2. because I don’t have the right personality to be able to separate at the end of the day. I take the plight of kids in need extremely seriously, and did even then, years before I had kids of my own.
It’s becoming increasingly harder to navigate parenthood recently. Norah is giving us a run for our money. Now that she can write with ease, she has started to leave little notes around the house for us, chiding us for parenting slip-ups or expressing frustrations. I’ve tried to talk to her but she isn’t opening up about what has prompted these letters. She takes in so much and is so sensitive and it’s so apparent to me that we’re suddenly hitting the stages where parenting is not just physically caring for their basic needs but also guiding them into maturity and adulthood in a way that doesn’t result in massive adult therapy bills. I read this quote from Anne Lamott on Sprouted Kitchen the other day that rang so true:
“It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.”
I guess that’s it- we do the best we can with the tools we have. That’s why it hurts so much to see a movie like “Short Term 12” where the parents aren’t even able to do that much.
What are you all watching these days? Any recommendations? Any parenting tips? I’ve tried spending one-on-one time alone with each kid but am wondering if there may be something more I need to try. A book? A parenting guru? Help!