Sometimes I stay up too late watching TV.
Let’s be honest here, often, often I stay up too late watching TV. And I know why. It’s how I hide from tomorrow. How I hide from what comes next or how I don’t feel like a grown up yet or anybody’s mom. It’s how I pretend that I’m brave by living through the braveness of the people on the screen.
It’s also how I miss my mom. And how I feel close to her.
We used to watch movies together. It was our thing. We’d watch and talk for hours afterwards about the plot, the people we loved, how the stories made us feel, what they taught us. She was genius at predicting plots. So much so that it was simultaneously unbelievable and incredibly annoying. We’d watch and life outside the screen would settle down and make more sense.
I feel like I can unravel the pieces of my day and look at them better when I’m looking at them through the lens of a good story.
I’ve started watching Call the Midwife – another of the awesome period pieces put out by the BBC. And there’s a line that keeps coming back to me. A young nurse, so out of place in the east end of London, comes face to face with the dirt under the fingernails of life and is repulsed by some of the moms and their living conditions.
She watches them and we see through her eyes how they juggle children and eking out a living and having very little control over what comes next. How they are brave and bear down and deliver life and sometimes death. We watch with her and see the cornerstone of what makes us mothers – all this mess and chaos and unexpected tenderness.
And finally someone asks her – asks her straight up what she thinks; how she must disdain them for how they live. What little she must think of them.
Her answer made my eyes sting – Heroes, she says. I think you’re all heroes.
So I stay up too late and I process my own story through the stories of others. And it helps me see and make sense of my little corner of beautifully redemptive chaos.
It reminds me to keep coming back here and reminding you all that you are heroes. No matter how you feel.
And you? What stories keep you up late? What shows inspire you? Do share.