Monday, November 2, 2009
I was recently forwarded a link to a blog on the Rumor Queen site called “Hard Knock Life.”
I have been there and done that on wondering about how my daughter would feel singing the words to this song about life in an orphanage. She was in a production of Annie two years ago, and was given the part of one of the orphans who has to sing this song. I remember her coming home from the first rehearsal very excited, telling me that she got to be an ORPHAN and that they were going to need tattered clothes and rags to wipe the floor. The interesting part to me was that she didn’t react to any of the words in the song. For those of you who have seen any videos of my daughter singing, you know she has an amazing stage voice, and she thought it was great to belt out “no one cares for you a smidge, when you’re in an orphanage.” She sang it with great conviction, without a single reaction that the lyrics bothered her. Her only concern was getting the dance moves just right. When I questioned her on whether the words bothered her in any way, since she had herself lived in an orphanage, she gave me that “moms can be so clueless” look and said, “mom…it’s a play, as in fiction.” End of conversation in her mind.
Reading this blog post today, however, did make me think about how concerned I always am about anything that could hurt the feelings of my kids. When we first adopted our son with a limb difference, I remember watching Toy Story 2 and then actually throwing the DVD away when one of the characters says something about a one armed toy being worthless (I can’t actually even remember the exact line, but I remember audibly gasping and putting the DVD in the trashcan immediately....yes, I really did!) Ditto the movie “Hotel for Dogs”, which had a three legged dog that someone also called worthless. I remember thinking that TJ could never see it as it might hurt him in some way.
Fast forward a few months later and TJ is at a play date with a friend. The mom dropped him off later that night and said, "oh…we went to the movies and saw “Hotel for Dogs”. My heart sank fearing the worst. When TJ came in I asked him about the movie, and he told me again and again how much he loved it. I carefully padded around the issue of the three legged dog, to see if anything had bothered him, and just like Anna singing “Annie”, nothing he saw had bothered him at all. He thought the three legged dog was cute…nothing more, nothing less.
My older kids accuse me sometimes of being “hyper vigilant” when it comes to issues about adoption or special needs that might hurt my kids. What I’ve noticed is that the things that I most think will bother them rarely do, and then the things I never even considered can bring out real grief and sadness. I still remember seeing “Prince of Egypt” with my daughter, a movie I thought she would love, and then having her sob inconsolably when Moses’ mother floats him down the river away from her. That image touched something inside of her that I hadn't imagined. It made me realize that it is impossible to protect my children from every image or event in life that might cause them pain over their adoption. But we as moms sure want to try, don’t we?
Have there been movies or songs that have affected your child in ways that surprised you? Are you also a hyper vigilant mom when it comes to trying to protect your child?