Last night we were fortunate to be among those at a
preview of Disney’s new movie,
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
A sweet poignant tale of a couple desperate to have a child … in fact, two minutes into the movie as they heard the words “I am so sorry, there is nothing we can do” the tears flowed as my memory transported me back to that time of battling infertility in my life, the hopelessness, the sadness. And the line, but I thought you were trying to have a real child, I mean one of your own cuts to the core for those of us who have heard those very words about our cherubs born of our hearts and not of our bodies. But this movie, altho you will need to bring your tissues, oh yes, you will, really is a feel-good movie with a message to each of us. In fact, there are many messages in this lovely tale set in a beautiful small town, filled with Fall beauty making this transplanted Florida girl yearn for cooler days and gorgeous sweaters … and boots and scarves – sigh.
But the messages are plentiful …
Parenting is an ‘odd thing’ – we are given the care of these little children to mold into grown-ups. We approach the task with hopes and dreams and also the baggage of our own childhoods. Some think that they have learned from their parents mistakes and they try as Jim vows in the movie, ‘to do things different than my Dad.’ We muddle along shaping these children the best that we can while really, as we try to teach our children all about life, they teach us what life is all about.
To children, this movie tells them it is okay to be different and that as a family, we can be each other’s biggest cheerleaders. To parents, it tells us to love our children while we can, to do right by them, to be there for them and cherish the moments that you have with them.
The writer/director Peter Hedges when interviewed said he realised that he had a duty to put his own son’s needs first.
“He didn’t come here to fill the holes that are mine. He gets a fresh start and I have to get my stuff worked out in other ways. My job is to create an environment, a safe environment for him to become who he is destined to be and not the person I need him to be. That is one of the gifts to getting to make this film, this comedy, this human comedy with heart that will hopefully remind us not only about those kind of themes but also to be aware of the preciousness of all that we have”
The movie spoke clearly to my girls, it was all about family and working together. They talked about the movie all the way home from the theater. Their questions leaned to the ‘where is daddy now’ and ‘when will he be home.’ An emphatic, ‘I don’t care which country we live in as long as Daddy is there’, from my oldest. And ‘where is Daddy the most, and why don’t we go there,’ from my youngest.
A message that said if you want something enough, if you love something enough, then in the words of ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’ – you never give up
That is parenting.
That is life.
And the best we can teach our children.
Never give up.