Monday, June 20, 2011

Food or Love from Mr. Popper's Penguins

The family and I saw Mr. Popper's Penguins yesterday. *Spoiler* At the end of the movie, there is a test to see if the penguins will go towards the zoo keeper with the food, or to Mr. Popper and the love they had shared. I don't have to tell you the ending, you can guess. As we are walking out, Mallory turns to me and says, "What would you choose, food or love?"

What did she just say??? I was speechless. Yes, me speechless.

My little old soul, Mallory, aged five and a half is speaking to my soul again. I didn't even connect the scene in the movie with one of my life's major missions, I wasn't paying attention, but she pointed it out to make sure I was.

So there is the question, just hanging out there, and something in my rational brain was saying, we have to have food to live, but the nurturer and mother in me was thinking, I should say love, I know I should say love. I alway pride myself on answering all the questions, to the best of my ability at the girls' level but I was speechless. It was just TOO personal and too raw.

I couldn't say, well Mallory, I have turned food into love over the course of my lifetime and I'm trying to reverse that pattern right now and well, it's pretty hard to do. It seems to be the hardest thing I've ever done because it is so complicated with the fact that you have to change the way you think, and at age 42, this is hard to do. And then there are these people who brought me into the world, that don't get this and you still have to relate to them and that's all about forgiveness. And well Mallory, I have been in therapy for quite a long time to overcome this and slowly, food is becoming less and less important and I am learning to give myself love, and nurture my own self. And I'm really trying to set this example for you and Riley. I am learning to be present.

But I didn't say anything. I'm not quite sure what I said, it was the deer in headlights moment. So just a moment ago, I asked Mallory what she would choose. (My friend pointed out that's what she would have done.) She smiled her impish smile and said, "love." I'm crying right now. My kids teach me love lessons all the time. I keep thinking I'm the one teaching them, but they are teaching me. I am eternally grateful for having them in my life. More tears. Happy tears.

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