Family Viewing.

March 27th, 2012


I don’t claim to be a movie critic, but after seeing “The Descendants” recently, a few thoughts came to mind. It is a movie with all the qualities you look for in a film. A hot lead being #1 of course (call me shallow, I’ve been called worse), humour (I love a laugh even at the expense of a fictional character), poignant father/ teen daughter moments, (the fantasies of any parent) plot twists, scenery that makes you weep and wish you were born somewhere far more exotic. The weird odd characters that just don’t really fit but teach valuable life lessons, and then there are the beautiful tearful flash backs of the dying.

Now, it’s these flash backs that triggered in me a deep seeded insecurity. What would be the flashback sequence playing in my movie, in my family’s memory of me?…Oh no, the nagging, the lectures, the impatient short answers, the please just give me space sighs, the frustrated refereeing and sending various children to their rooms, the saying no and being late, the exhausted frazzled face of a mother who needs a vacation, the angry stomping about picking up after “everyone” – no, these do not make for family viewing! No amount of wistful, dreamy music and soft filtered lenses can make a chaotic crazed mother who could do with a stiff drink look joyful or carefree! It just can’t be done!

No, I want the carefree flashbacks dammit. The ones where I toss my head back and belly laugh on the floor with my kids climbing over me. I want the ones where I walk hand in hand with my kids in the woods picking up coloured leaves as if I have never before seen a coloured leaf. Oh please let them show the bike rides, checkers games, helping with math homework, and making homemade ice cream together. Oh and can we have a close up of me kissing a skinned knee there’s surely a ton of that footage around. And lastly, don’t forget to dim the lights for the good night routine, yes, leave that one till the end – that’ll make ‘em cry.

But unfortunately we all know the editing process isn’t up to me. Nope, I guess I better just get busy filling each moment with the good stuff and simply hope it doesn’t end up on the cutting room floor. But maybe I’ll  put together my own power point presentation ……you know, just in case.

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  1. Linda Langs says:

    Ahhh, Meg, how I’ve thought the same and been nagged by that thought.  When I talk to my now grown children I find that what they remember about me is as a goof, slightly incompetent, crazy woman.  Not at all what I had in mind.  But as they told their stories of my “Lucy’s” I saw a lot of laughter, and realized that they remembered the moments when I was all too human, clay footed, and improvising with life.  Perhaps being that for my children made them realize they had permission to make their own mistakes, to try and fail, cry, and then pick themselves up again.  I think we mothers give them the full range of what it means to be human through our emotions, frustrations, cheerleading, and dreams.
    So in the end, if the little buggers decide to remember only the bad stuff, well then, no dessert for them!

  2. meg says:

    Hahaha Linda, I love it. thanks!

  3. Joan says:

    Oh, Meg…don’t worry, they’ll get it all wrong, anyway!  At least that’s what I tell myself.  My boys ate a lot of great meals at my table, but which ones do they remember?  The meatballs that I waaay over peppered, so that the cat wouldn’t eat it, and the time I baked an orange cake and iced it with fudgey frosting-tasted good, but Mike still says it was the scariest birthday cake I ever made him.  Mike calls me a hippy now, and Andy says I’m a free spirit.  I think they can be real poops, but I love them both.

  4. […] » Blog Archive » Family Viewing. Posted by MagMan on 29/03/2012 in Papers | ∞ – […]

  5. naomi says:

    I say think and remember the good stuff and carry on creating memories. Lovely blog as always.

  6. Lisa Hertz says:

    I think that with a Mom like you they will remember a goofy, sometimes embarrassing person who was always there for them and a really special person.  Ok so it might not be until they have kids themselves before they truly  appreciate your “Megness”.  Just hold on – your day in the sun is on the horizon.  Right now it might look more like the movie “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”.


  7. Denim says:

    Hi there – great post!
    As a father of a 2 year old daughter and after my wife lost her father unexpectedly prior to our marriage I have been consumed with the thought of memories, what they mean and how we keep them near and preserve them over our lives and beyond – esp in this constantly evolving digital and public-social media world.  
    So , I built (for my family) and just launched and iPad and iPhone apps.
    Today’s mom’s and dad’s are attempting to organize and archive their meaningful memories (past, present and future) with an increasingly fragmented offering of web and mobile products, as well as devices.
    mi Lifemap is a personal storage solution for a family’s most meaningful memories. Upload and archive personal photos and videos, create private diaries, and backup your social media on an interactive and private timeline.  Families can now securely store, intuitively organize, archive, and selectively share the most important moments of their life from one private account.
    Our unique timeline allows you to intuitively organize and recall your content by creating life milestones, highlighting those rich and unforgettable memories that help define who we are, as well as creating yearbooks, to capture those special and recurring events and favorite moments from each and every year – always and forever at your finger tips and accessible from any connected computer, iPhone, and iPad. Add deeper meaning to these moments through private diary entries and connect to your family and lifelong relationships to share what’s most important with those closest to you.  Members can add social context to their timeline by connecting, integrating and backing up their social networks and other cloud applications.

    Additionally, mi Lifemap has introduced an eBeneficiary system that allows you to appoint a trusted member of your family to inherit your account and thus a digital legacy of your life story for preservation across generations.  Subaccounts can also be set up for small children & babies so parents can privately build their children’s Lifemap seamlessly while populating their own. 
    I really hope you can see the value I am trying to create for families and how you are able to preserve the meaningful (big and small) moments and memories that you describe above – I have all my digital photos and videos and Twitter, FB, and 4Sq now backed up and organized and I sleep well knowing that I can rediscover and reflect throughout my life and pass on my memories to my family.  
    Thank you for this post –


  8. crowned_goddess says:

    You’re a great mom.

  9. Nicole says:

    With my mom I really don’t remember those exasperated moments growing up. With my step mother it’s all I remember because she was like that 24/7. I think if we try to let go of our expectations of things and try to just enjoy our kids more, it’ll shine through and that is what they will remember. My daughter, when I am angry has an uncanny way of making me laugh. I hope she remembers that 🙂

  10. Norma Jean says:

    Love you Meg! 

  11. Maggie says:

    Your flashback will be edited. Like a pebble that hits a still pond and sinks to the bottom, our lives are short and heavy from human foibles and flaws. But as it sinks to the bottom, on the surface are its ripples that seem to go on forever. These ripples make up the flashback people will remember of you, not the heavy pebble at the bottom. And in these ripples are those things that remain despite the loss of physical life. They are love, selflessness, gratitude, . . . all those qualities that elevated us beyond our physical limitations and impacted those around us. This is why life’s purpose becomes so clear when we face death, either our own or the death of a loved one. We either love or we don’t, but if we do, the love we invested in while we were alive lives on after we leave. If we don’t produce much, give much, we don’t leave much. People remember us if we made them feel loved and accepted. When we don’t, memories of us fade just like the pebble in the mud at the bottom of the pond.

  12. Meg says:

    Maggie- thank you for such an insightful comment, you words really resonate. I imagine you have first hand experience with memory, death and loosing a loved one. I appreciate your comment and will carry it with me.

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