Mending Our Mother-Daughter Story

I finally saw Brave this past weekend, and I can definitely say that I had the reaction I imagined I would: weepy and joyful, my mind filled with the film’s images long after my husband and dog fell asleep.

I had deliberately avoided seeing the film because I knew that its plot would strike my heart deeply: a young girl struggles against her mother’s difficult love to discover both who she is and who she isn’t, and in the movie’s words, looks to “mend the bond torn by pride.”

In my life, my bond with my mother hasn’t been torn by pride, but by misguided love. And if Merida, the film’s fire-haired heroine, had been around when I was a girl, I might have had a way to scaffold what my mother and I went through, a plotline that could have anchored us.

I have been trying to discern a plotline for my mother’s and my story since I was in high school, where I wrote sparse, angry poems about her affair, her quick temper, her long binges at the bar. [Read more…]