A Mother’s Day Message….
Recently, on the Gold Coast, I watched Lilo and Stitch with my son, we had seen it before but not for a year or so and he’s only 6.5 now, so I guess he’s grown up a fair bit since then. This was always one of my favourite movies, right from the day I saw it in the cinemas with my nephew when I was about 16.
The message in the movie has never grown old for me, but to be honest, lately I have been starting to worry my son didn’t really have feelings like that, or feel emotion about things like I do. But realistically, I think I am a bit of a sook in movies.
I have a wonderful partner, who is caring and supportive and kind. But he isn’t my son’s father, I am divorced. And even though I know we have a wonderful life, there are days where I don’t quite feel like we fit in. It has been difficult to explain to Lennox that he does have a dad, but that we just don’t see him and it makes for an often awkward conversation. Especially when he announces it to the father next to us in craft class one day “I have a dad, I used to see him, but I don’t anymore. He isn’t well. But he loves me…” talk about awkward – I couldn’t finish colouring my magnet in fast enough to escape back to our cabin. When I ran back crying to my partner, he simply rubbed my back and said – “I’m sure the father probably thought it was funny – don’t worry baby”.
You may be wondering where I am going with this. Try and stay with me.
So – this movie, just in case you haven’t seen it is about an alien, Stitch, built for destruction, who escapes to earth on a spaceship fleeing alien gaol. He winds up in a pound and gets adopted by Lilo, a young Hawaiian girl and her sister, Nani. Their family had died in an accident and now Nani was trying her best to raise a very boisterous young Lilo. Stitch, trying to escape capture, plays along acting like her new adopted dog.
The relationship is a disaster, but Lilo persists with Stitch, trying everything to help assimilate him into her life with Nani. But he continues to only make their lives worse and the threat of child services taking away Lilo becomes more and more real. Stitch doesn’t like Lilo, but as he gets to know her and sees the beauty of her relationship with her sister Nani and hears the sad story of their past, he begins to feel a longing for a family of his own. He feels alone, as though he does not belong.
For the most part stitch, the naughty, hot-headed gremlin, reminds me of my son. He is the most wonderful, beautiful, devilish child. And the way he feels lost reminds of the way my son looks, when Father’s Day swings around, or when he asks me if my partner and I can get married, so he can call him ‘Dad’.
But as the movies progresses, Stitch starts to love Lilo and realises that he could maybe find a home with them, a place he never imagined he would want to stay. Just as he is about to be caught and he has left the lives of Lilo and Nani in tatters, he announces himself as the alien that he is and hands himself in. But before boarding the alien ship, captured, he stops to say goodbye to Lilo. And he says:
“Ohana means family. Family means never getting left behind, or forgotten. This is my family. It is small and broken, but still good…”
And just as I burst into uncontrollable tears, I look down at my Stitch like child, there he is sobbing uncontrollably right beside me. At first, I was relieved, but then I thought about it. I don’t need to feel like I don’t fit in, just because our family isn’t the same as everyone else. Our family might be broken, but it is still good. We have each other, and now we have my partner and we are perfect just the way we are.
So, this Mothers Day, I am going to be thankful for the perfect family I have. Different? Yes. Crazy? Sometimes. But a family all the same.
Maybe your family looks different to mine, maybe your family doesn’t have a mum, maybe it has two. Maybe it doesn’t have any parents at all, maybe just grandparents or step parents or maybe you live in a family with everyone, even aunties and uncle’s. But whatever size or shape your family is this Mother’s Day, be proud of it and be happy. Because it doesn’t matter what your family looks like, or if it’s a little bit broken, like mine, all that matters is that there is love.
Happy Mothers Day!
Thank you to the lovely Shannon for sharing her story with us and I know there are many families that are not the “traditional” family structure, but all the same, still a family and still perfect ❤️
❤️❤️ We hope every single one of you mums out there have an amazing Mothers Day ❤️❤️