“You don’t understand, no-one does. When a woman makes the choice to marry, to have children; in one way her life begins but in another way it stops. You build a life of details. You become a mother, a wife and you stop and stay steady so that your children can move. And when they leave they take your life of details with them. And then you’re expected to move again only you don’t remember what moves you because no one has asked in so long. Not even yourself.”–Franchesca, Bridges of Madison County
I didn’t say it, but I could have…I could not have said it better. I bet every mother feels like this at some point in her life.
I just finished watching the Bridges of Madison County. It is one of my all time favorite movies; one of those classic movies I can watch over and over again no matter how many times it airs and never tire of the dialog and the simplicity of such a beautiful love story gut-wrenchingly portrayed so well by Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. The emotions of experiencing–all at once–joy and love coupled with love’s loss from the awareness of reality; ah, it brings me to tears every single time. (And not just a trickle or two but sobbing with a box of Kleenex.)
This time, Franchesca’s thoughts about motherhood struck a cord with me. It was incredibly sad to me. Is this true? Once I became a mother did my life stop? I do admit that my life does feel like just a bunch of details that revolves around my children’s lives. True, I’ve thought on many occasions about how my children will leave me someday and wonder what I’ll be left with when my house is empty. But even though I see my empty house I can also see something else and it is very clear to me…
Neither I nor my husband are in it! Noooo. When my children have grown and hopefully built up lives of their own I have new dreams and new aspirations of my life in a second career and my husband and I traveling to all of the places that we long to see with our own eyes. Together. So while Franchesca’s words do hold some truth to them, I refuse to see my life as just a bunch of details but one in which I will dare to dream, over and over again.