I've now seen The Blindside twice. One of the best movies I have ever seen--so much that I've wondered if it's THAT bad to take a camcorder to the movie theater. I'm not going to sell it, just watch it over and over again.
There's a line in there that got me the first time, it struck me, but it made me cry the second time. In a scene where her motives are being questioned she asks "Am I a good person?" You've just watched a film that shows the amazing things she's done for someone else, and yet in her mind she's boiled it down to the question of motive. Why did she do those things? Were her reasons pure? If she did them for the wrong reasons are the things she did also wrong?
I ask myself this question a lot, and after so many years I still don't have the answers.
Am I a good person for having raised someone elses child, or was I simply looking to be a hero?
Now that the whole hero thing has backfired, would I have done it again knowing what I know now?
Is that only because it didn't go the way I hoped?
Do I only do good things because I want a good result?
Am I still a good parent when I resent the messes, the hours of cleaning, the unappreciation of my efforts?
Am I good person even though I find it so hard to forgive?
Is it fair that I divide my time between my family and the fictional characters in my head?
Yesterday was supposed to be my youngest daughter's baptism. She turned 8 in October, and I was planning to have her baptism in November, a couple of days before my book tour. Turned out that this year the stake baptisms are on the second Saturday of the month, not the first. Right in the middle of my tour. We had to put it off until December. I felt horrible and even though I realize it was simply a mistake, this is a BAPTISM, and it got bumped because I had a book tour--two weeks away from my family. It has not sat well with me, but I simply focused on the 12th of December and moved forward. Yesterday it snowed all day. Most of the family members canceled; and for good reason. I don't want them to take unnecessary risks, and the roads were really horrible. But as the day ticked on and the snow got deeper I realized that the chances were good that no one would make it; even those who lived just an hour a way. I saw two options: 1) Have the baptism anyway, but with only us. 2) Reschedule for January and hope more family members could make it. My husband thought we should do it anyway, but you know what? As we thought and talked about it I kept going back to the part where if we'd done it in November, all those people would have been there. It was my fault it hadn't worked that way. Therefore, I felt responsible for the fact that after building up this event, KB's memories would be of only having her siblings and parents at her 'big' day. Lee and I finally decided to let KB decide.
I sat her down and explained the situation. Did I present it honestly? Without trying to prod her into making one choice over another? I don't know. I tried to focus on the important aspect being the ordinance, not all the extra stuff. Did I make it clear enough? I don't know that either.
She went into her room to think about it, and when she came out her eyes were red and her face was swollen. She's the only girl in her class who hasn't been baptized. She didn't like that she wouldn't be baptized until she's in a whole new primary class--9-10 year olds. She's been eight for two months already. She wanted to wear her new dress to church.
Did I appreciate those things enough? If I'd have just said "This is your day, Kylee, let's do this and forever have very special memories of the people closest to you being there?" would she have chosen another direction?
She chose to wait. I admit that I was relieved. Is that wrong too? Then I started calling people to tell them. Everyone was very nice, but I could hear an undercurrent "You're canceling an eternal ordinance because some people can't come?" I braved through all that using the "I'm doing what KB wants." but did she understand it enough to really know? Was it fair to leave the choice to her?
I don't know. I do know that I was unsettled about it all day, that I'm worried about what people think, and the message I've sent to KB and my other children. Today she should be welcomed to our ward as the newest member. But she won't be. Am I a good person even though ...
When I really think it through I do believe I'm a good person, for the most part. I try to do good things, and try to be fair minded and encouraging to others. And yet even making that declaration makes those things I've been wrong about glaringly apparent as they rise up as arguments against me.
And so I'm curious if we all do that to ourselves. I'd like comments to be left in the format of "Am I a good person even though...."
I'm not asking in hopes to make myself feel better--or am I? I don't know.