Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Julie and Julia

Quick warning: If you haven't seen the movie, you might not want to read this post. I don't give too much away, but I don't want to be a spoiler.


Before seeing this movie, I had no idea that Julia Child never had children, much less experienced infertility.

Towards the beginning of the movie, Julia and her husband are walking the streets of France. A woman walks by pushing a baby carriage. Those of us who have experienced infertility, or who knows someone who has, will recognize the longing look Julia gives the carriage as it passes by.

That exchange happened in a fraction of a second. But in that second, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Julia never had children. Julia couldn't have children.

I quickly looked at Ryan, shocked by the revelation. Just like a man (and I say that lovingly), he hadn't noticed the brief interaction between a barren woman and her lost dream. But I had.

This changed the entire outlook of the movie for me. As I watched Julia turn to cooking and food, and even writing as outlets, I recognized myself in her eyes. Trying to figure out your place in the world, after you've lost the role you've always wanted.

There is one scene in which Julia receives a letter from her newly married sister. Her newly married, and now pregnant, sister. Reading about her sister's pregnancy, Julia falls apart. Her husband tries to catch her, pressing her head to his chest as she cries. I looked at Ryan, and for the first time in what feels like forever, I felt like he could truly see inside my heart. Finally, he knew how I have felt over and over and over again.

I truly feel that this movie was an accurate demonstration of infertility, at least through my eyes. The determination of one woman to live through the newness of each day, and the willingness to experience a life that looks different than she ever thought it would. It was inspiring.

Oh, and speaking of inspiration, I really, really want to visit France someday too. :) Are you reading this, Ryan??? (hint, hint)


Savannah said...

I wasn't even going to see this movie, but now I have too! Thanks.

Meka said...

Oh my gosh this post made me cry a little. I am making Duane take me to see that SOON! I love how you wrote how we are trying to find our place in the world when what we want most isn't coming. I felt like that every day before Eden. Like what am I going to do with my life if I am really never going to have kids? Thats great you love to cook, its something cool and rational, I would just play with my pet rats and push my cat around in a kitty stroller! Whatever you have to do to get through the day I guess! By the way, you are going to make such a great mom because of this trial and the way you are dealing with it is just amazing!

Cyndi W said...

Sweet Michelle, I am an avid reader of your blog although I have never commented, today I just had to. I don't even know if you remember who I am, I am your 2nd cousin Cyndi, we were in the Orchard View Ward together. I know your Mom well. I also know someone who, like you has been unable to have children, and the pain this brings her. She too focused and identified so much with that movie. Like you she is also a tremendous cook, I suppose searching for something worthwhile.
But you said it so eloquently not too long ago when you said we are all "Daughters of Deity". I know at those times when as 'she' puts it, "less deserving women" keep having children. She doesn't understand that. And why her arms remain empty. And like you she would make a tremendous Mother!
I just had to stop and say something this time around...oh, and let you know that I made your Chocolate Chip Cookies off your cooking website for everyone at work. They were a smashing hit!
Love, Cyndi