Family Trailers

Posted by jael on Apr 28, 2011 in Parenting, Spiritual Journey

Had an experience this week that made me consider the marketing allure of movie trailers. Movie trailers showcase the funniest, most exciting and intense moments of a film to intake preview audiences to want, even need to see the film. The best trailers make a crowd gasp, cry and burst out in choral laughter.

A morning this week made me realize that families have trailer moments too.  However, some of these clips are bloopers that they’d never want shown on screen, let before their school, church or work audiences.

In our house a morning glitch excavated such a drama and featured a typical teen, a harried  Mamma, and what happens when you don’t do what you should have done the day before a busy morning that the family has to get to school early for music sectionals:

_Cue Camera_

Dirty lunch box stows away in the cupboard (as if cleaned-out per child-chore protocol) and an empty, sticky, Sig bottle in the ‘frig (as if rinsed and wiped, as per child-chore protocol). Both items initially look normal and innocent, until the camera pans in and the audience can see the rat’s nest mess inside the lunch box and shine of slime on the water bottle.  Naturally, these jewels are left for the frantic Sectional-morning treasure hunt as the Mamma paws blurry-eyed about the kitchen chasing the clock and in search of caffeine.

The film features a family with four children. To survive, The Mamma expects the kids to assist with basic and age-appropriate chores. There’s no ambiguity about what she asks of them. They talk about it during family meetings. They post it on the family task board. When things run smoothly, they compliment each others’ successes and strategize their situational inability to meet deadlines.

The Mamma stumbles into the kitchen sleepy-eyed, muttering under her breath to the powers that be about the family’s inability to track the Sectional schedule. She shuffles bare food across the floor with bed head that rivals dreadlocks and blunders toward the coffee cup. She looks at the clock at the cup brews and acknowledges aloud, “It’s gonna be a close one.”

That particular morning, however, The Mama finds her chase with the clock impeded by factor of ten after she pulls out the offending lunch items. The Sig bottle is slick and lunch box a nest of crumbs, icepacks, dirty utensils and wrappers. Not only does the incident cost her more time to clean the items which she does so with such vigor the sponge she uses weeps for mercy, but she must also debrief with the teen.

Working herself up the whistling-Mamma scale of how-many-times-have-I-told-yous and what-were-you-thinkings, the summoned teen confesses in clipped Marine cadence, “Lack of foresight, Ma’am!”

The Mamma’s mouth gaps open as the camera zooms in for a close up. No response whatsoever, but her eyes twinkle with amusement. Even frustrated and with morning breath, she loves the teen.

_End Trailer_

The experience made realize how many times I would NOT want my family life on film.

I am grateful the teachers at my kids school don’t see every moment of what happens in our house before they arrive to their classrooms, well packed lunch boxes in hand.

I am relieved that every time we roll up to a church the Pastor didn’t have our marital conflict on his i-pod.

I am happy my kids can hit the soccer field and the coaches don’t know that they had to pull their uniforms out of the dirty close hamper because I didn’t get them washed again.

I hope to have a bit more sensitivity the next time I bump into someone else’s process and pick up the vibe they may have just exited from one of their own family bloopers moment.

I love relationship, but honor the blanket of privacy that covers a myriad oops.

Well Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
she tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah


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